Funeral Attendant

Summary

Funeral attendants assist with the handling of people who have died, the preparation for funerals, the transportation of the deceased, placement of coffins, assisting at the funeral ceremony and the maintenance of funeral premises.

Duties & Tasks

Funeral attendants may perform the following tasks:

  • collect the body from the hospital, morgue or place of death
  • assist with preparing the body and placing it in the coffin
  • escort mourners to funeral chapels
  • arrange burial equipment such as mats and lowering straps
  • distribute and collect attendance and tribute cards
  • drive passenger vehicles, mortuary vans and hearses
  • clean funeral homes, chapels and hearses
  • arrange floral tributes
  • assist as coffin or casket bearers.

Specialisations

Embalmer

An embalmer prepares and preserves deceased persons from the time of death until they can be buried or cremated. An embalmer is usually a qualified member of a funeral firm.

Funeral Director

A funeral director coordinates and supervises funeral workers, including embalmers and drivers. They also provide assistance and support for the family through all aspects of the funeral procedure, including organising documentation, caskets and decorations, as well as facilitating the ceremony itself.

Working Conditions

The work of funeral attendants may be demanding and sometimes stressful. They are often required to work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends, and are often required to be on call to meet their clients' needs. In small companies, one person may perform a variety of tasks, which requires a broad range of skills and a flexible attitude.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy helping people
  • neat personal appearance
  • tactful and sympathetic
  • good communication skills
  • emotional maturity
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good driving record
  • good organisational skills.

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