Funeral Workers prepare bodies for viewing and burial, arrange and conduct funerals, and perform other specialist funereal services.

    You can work as a Funeral Worker or Director without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in funeral services might be helpful.

    Tasks

    • interviewing families and associates of the deceased to assist with funeral arrangements such as the selection of coffin, type of service and publication of death notices
    • advising on funeral costs and welfare provisions
    • collecting bodies from mortuaries
    • ensuring death certificates have been issued, burial and cremation certificates processed and that other legal requirements are met
    • preparing bodies for viewing and burial by washing, draining body fluids, applying padding and cosmetics, dressing bodies and placing them in coffins
    • liaising with clergy and cemetery and crematorium staff
    • coordinating the movement of coffins and funeral cars, arranging floral displays and collecting attendance and tribute cards
    • arranging the placement of coffins at funeral sites, and placing and adjusting floral displays and lighting
    • keeping records and accounts of transactions and services performed
    • may arrange the construction of memorials and the disposal of ashes

    More about Funeral Workers

    All Funeral Workers

    All Funeral Workers

    • $1,275 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 2,600 workers Employment Size
    • High skill Skill level rating
    • 71% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 45 hours Average full-time
    • 52 years Average age
    • 45% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Funeral Workers (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 2,600 in 2018 to 2,800 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 1,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 200 a year).

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Funeral Workers work in many regions of Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in the Other Services industry.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,275 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (71%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 45 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 52 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (71%).
    • Gender: 45% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20085500
    20094000
    20103700
    20113100
    20123300
    20133000
    20142200
    20151600
    20166300
    20172800
    20182600
    20232800

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsFuneral WorkersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings12751460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Other Services98.1
    Health Care and Social Assistance0.9
    Public Administration and Safety0.5
    Wholesale Trade0.1
    Other Industries0.4

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateFuneral WorkersAll Jobs Average
    NSW32.531.6
    VIC26.225.6
    QLD18.220.0
    SA8.87.0
    WA9.810.8
    TAS3.02.0
    NT0.31.0
    ACT1.11.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketFuneral WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.6-5.05.0
    20-242.9-9.39.3
    25-348.8-22.922.9
    35-4416.9-22.022.0
    45-5430.9-21.621.6
    55-5913.8-9.09.0
    60-6413.2-6.06.0
    65 and Over13.1-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationFuneral WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate2.5-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree9.1-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma13.7-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV23.4-21.121.1
    Year 1221.2-18.118.1
    Year 118.5-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below21.6-12.512.5

    You can work as a Funeral Worker or Director without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A course in funeral services might be helpful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • driver's licence

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Funeral Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Funeral Workers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic, physically fit and can interact well with others.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Customer and Personal Service

      90% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    2. Chemistry

      65% Skill level

      Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

    3. Clerical

      63% Skill level

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    4. Computers and Electronics

      61% Skill level

      Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    5. English Language

      60% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-4031.00 - Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Telephone

      100% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    2. Contact With Others

      98% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    3. Frequency of Decision Making

      98% Important

      How often do you make decisions that affect other people?

    4. Face-to-Face Discussions

      97% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    5. Deal With External Customers

      96% Important

      How important is it to work with customers or the public?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-4031.00 - Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors.

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