- 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.