You would assist bereaved families with funeral preparations. During a difficult period, you would provide individuals guidance and support.
You would contact the deceased’s relatives, make funeral arrangements, and help them complete the legal requirements for burial or cremation. You’d have to be able to deal with upset people compassionately.
You would arrange for the deceased’s remains to be held in your funeral home or another location – the place of rest – before the funeral.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- help families plan funerals, including the time, date and location
- manage team members on the day of the funeral
- organise services like flowers, transport and notices
- explain laws about funerals and help families fill in forms
- advise on types of memorials, like headstones.
- Starting salaries for an apprentice is £2o,000 per year.
- Experienced funeral directors can earn up to £27,000 per year.
You will typically work 41 to 43 hours per week, including evenings, weekends, bank holidays on shifts.
Most of your administrative work would be completed during office hours, but you would often be required to meet with clients after hours or on weekends. You’d be needed around the clock, 365 days a year.
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.
You can start by taking a funeral team member intermediate qualification.
Once you have one year of experience, you can do a funeral director advanced qualification.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.
On a funeral director apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- 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.
Career path and progression
If you work for a large firm, you may be promoted to branch, area, or regional manager.
If you have the requisite skills and credentials, you might become an instructor and educate others on becoming funeral directors.