Embalmer | Selby College
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Embalmers preserve and prepare bodies for burial or cremation.

Potential salary

£17,000 to £28,000

Employment by 2024


Working hours

41 to 43 a week

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of psychology
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As part of your job, you could:

  • wash and disinfect bodies to prevent deterioration and infection
  • remove fluids and gases from the body and replace them with preservatives
  • use plaster of Paris or wax to restore the appearance of bodies after injury
  • wash and arrange hair and apply cosmetics

You will also:

  • work with funeral arrangers to make sure the families' wishes are met
  • keep the mortuary clean to meet health and safety regulations
  • make sure the mortuary is fully stocked
  • complete paperwork required by law

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a laboratory, at a funeral home or at a research facility.

Your working environment may be cool, physically demanding and you'll travel often.

With experience, you could become self-employed and work independently with several funeral directors.

You could go on to take further training and specialise in HIV or tuberculosis work, or join a team responding to disasters.

You could also become a funeral director.

You'll find more details about working as an embalmer through the British Institute of Embalmers.

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