Funeral directors make arrangements for burials and cremations, and provide support and advice for the bereaved.
£19,000 Starter - £27,000 Experienced
41 to 43 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
an apprenticeshipworking your way up
You can start by taking a Level 2 apprenticeship as a funeral team member.
Once you have 12 months' industry experience, you can do a funeral director Level 3 apprenticeship.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for Level 2. You'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for Level 3.
You could start in a support role and get experience as you learn on the job. You would usually need a customer service background, and good IT and administration skills.
You could take a Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration, or a Certificate in Funeral Service, while you work.
As you take on more responsibilities, you could do the Diploma in Funeral Directing or the Diploma in Funeral Service.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- business management skills
- the ability to understand people’s reactions
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
In this role you could:
- help the bereaved to plan a funeral that meets their wishes
- arrange for transfer of the body to the place of rest before the funeral
- advise on costs and arrange details of the funeral time, date and location
- organise other services like flowers, transport and death notices
- explain legal requirements and help clients complete paperwork
- prepare the body for burial or cremation
- arrange visits to the place of rest
- deal with floral tributes and charitable donations
- brief and lead the funeral team on the day, to make sure that everything runs smoothly
- advise on types of memorials, like headstones
You could work at a funeral home, at a cemetery, in an office or at a client's home.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With larger organisations, you could be promoted to branch, area or regional management.
With experience and qualifications you could become a tutor and teach National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) qualifications.