Embalmers

Description

Prepare bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.

Tasks

  • Dress bodies and place them in caskets.
  • Conform to laws of health and sanitation and ensure that legal requirements concerning embalming are met.
  • Close incisions, using needles and sutures.
  • Attach trocar to pump-tube, start pump, and repeat probing to force embalming fluid into organs.
  • Wash and dry bodies, using germicidal soap and towels or hot air dryers.
  • Incise stomach and abdominal walls and probe internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs.
  • Join lips, using needles and thread or wire.
  • Reshape or reconstruct disfigured or maimed bodies when necessary, using dermasurgery techniques and materials such as clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax.
  • Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter.
  • Make incisions in arms or thighs and drain blood from circulatory system and replace it with embalming fluid, using pump.
  • Maintain records such as itemized lists of clothing or valuables delivered with body and names of persons embalmed.
  • Apply cosmetics to impart lifelike appearance to the deceased.
  • Remove the deceased from place of death and transport to funeral home.
  • Insert convex celluloid or cotton between eyeballs and eyelids to prevent slipping and sinking of eyelids.
  • Perform the duties of funeral directors, including coordinating funeral activities.
  • Assist with placing caskets in hearses and organize cemetery processions.
  • Serve as pallbearers, attend visiting rooms, and provide other assistance to the bereaved.
  • Conduct interviews to arrange for the preparation of obituary notices, to assist with the selection of caskets or urns, and to determine the location and time of burials or cremations.
  • Arrange funeral home equipment and perform general maintenance.
  • Perform special procedures necessary for remains that are to be transported to other states or overseas, or where death was caused by infectious disease.
  • Arrange for transporting the deceased to another state for interment.
  • Direct casket and floral display placement and arrange guest seating.
  • Supervise funeral attendants and other funeral home staff.
  • Press diaphragm to evacuate air from lungs.
  • Assist coroners at death scenes or at autopsies, file police reports, and testify at inquests or in court, if employed by a coroner.

Knowledge

Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Related Occupations

Lay Titles

Apprentice Embalmer
Embalmer
Embalmer Apprentice
Funeral Director Apprentice
Funeral Director/Embalmer
Funeral Service Licensee
Licensed Embalmer
Licensed Funeral Director
Mortician
Preparation Room Manager

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$20.31 hourly, $42,240 annual.
Employment (2008):
5,040 employees