Career summary

Details for 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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