Undertaker Job Description [Updated for 2024]

undertaker job description

In the realms of the mortality industry, the role of the undertaker has never been more crucial.

As society evolves, so does our need for compassionate professionals who can handle, respect, and secure our final rites with dignity.

But what’s truly expected from an undertaker?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the ideal candidate,
  • Or simply interested in the intricate workings of the mortuary science,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable undertaker job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Undertaker Duties and Responsibilities

Undertakers, also known as funeral directors, perform a variety of tasks related to planning and coordinating funeral services.

They are primarily responsible for assisting families during their time of bereavement, with daily duties and responsibilities including:

  • Consulting with the families of the deceased to discuss funeral arrangements and preferences
  • Coordinating and directing funeral ceremonies
  • Preparing the bodies for viewing, burial, or cremation
  • Obtaining information needed to complete legal documents such as death certificates and burial permits
  • Transporting bodies from mortuaries to funeral homes
  • Coordinating with cemeteries, crematories, and other related services
  • Providing support and counseling to bereaved families and friends
  • Overseeing the preparation and distribution of obituaries in newspapers or other media
  • Managing funeral home operations including staff supervision and business administration
  • Maintaining a clean, safe, and professional environment for services


Undertaker Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a compassionate and professional Undertaker to join our funeral services team.

The Undertaker’s responsibilities include arranging funerals, preparing the deceased for burial or cremation, and supporting the bereaved in a sensitive and understanding manner.

Our ideal candidate will have experience in the funeral services industry and a deep understanding of the mourning process.

Ultimately, the role of the Undertaker is to provide support to the grieving families and ensure that all funeral arrangements are conducted with the utmost respect and professionalism.



  • Arrange and manage funeral services in accordance with the wishes of the deceased or their family
  • Prepare the deceased for burial or cremation, including embalming and dressing the body
  • Offer support and advice to bereaved families
  • Handle all necessary paperwork and legal documents
  • Ensure funeral services are conducted with respect and in accordance with religious or cultural customs
  • Manage the transportation of the deceased and their family to and from the funeral service
  • Maintain cleanliness and orderliness of the funeral home
  • Assist with grave preparation and burial services



  • Proven work experience as an Undertaker, Funeral Director, or similar role
  • Knowledge of funeral services and burial procedures
  • Understanding of the grieving process and the ability to provide support to bereaved families
  • Good organizational and multitasking abilities
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
  • Excellent communication and people skills
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Funeral Director license may be required



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Undertaker
  • Work Environment: Funeral home setting. The role may require working evenings and weekends, and being on call.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Funeral Home Manager or Director.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $40,000 minimum to $70,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Undertaker Do?

Undertakers, also known as funeral directors or morticians, work in the funeral service industry.

Their main duty is to provide emotional support and professional assistance to families and individuals arranging funerals for their loved ones.

They prepare the body for burial or cremation following the legal and health regulations, which often includes embalming and dressing the deceased.

They may also be required to apply makeup to give a life-like appearance to the deceased.

Undertakers arrange transportation for the deceased, and coordinate with crematoriums or cemeteries for the final disposition.

They also handle administrative tasks, such as filing death certificates and other legal documents.

They plan and coordinate funeral services according to the wishes of the deceased or their family, which can include arranging for religious ceremonies, managing visiting hours or viewings, and organizing the transportation of the family and friends of the deceased to and from the funeral service.

Undertakers may also provide post-funeral assistance, such as helping with insurance claims, providing advice on estate matters, and offering bereavement support.

Overall, an undertaker’s role is to ensure that the last rites of an individual are conducted respectfully, smoothly, and in accordance with their final wishes or the wishes of their family.


Undertaker Qualifications and Skills

Undertakers, also known as funeral directors, require a unique set of skills and qualifications to handle their sensitive responsibilities, including:

  • Strong communication skills to engage with grieving families, understand their wishes, and explain the processes involved in preparing for a funeral.
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence to provide comfort and support to bereaved relatives and friends during a difficult time.
  • Attention to detail to ensure all funeral arrangements are made according to the families’ wishes, and all paperwork is properly completed and filed.
  • Physical stamina to carry out tasks such as lifting and moving bodies, standing for long periods during services, and maintaining funeral premises.
  • Organization skills to coordinate various aspects of a funeral, from transportation to burial or cremation, within a specific timeframe.
  • Understanding of bereavement and cultural practices to respect diverse customs and traditions related to death and funerals.
  • Time management skills to schedule and oversee multiple funerals at different stages of planning and execution.
  • Professional knowledge of funerary laws and regulations, including handling and disposal of remains, to ensure compliance with legal standards.


Undertaker Experience Requirements

Undertakers, also known as funeral directors, typically require at least an associate’s degree in mortuary science or funeral service education.

Most states also require that Undertakers complete an apprenticeship of 1-3 years under the supervision of a licensed funeral director.

During their education and apprenticeship, they gain practical experience in embalming and restorative techniques, arranging and directing funerals, and counseling grieving families.

They also gain knowledge of the laws and regulations pertaining to funeral service.

For entry-level undertaker roles, employers may require a minimum of 1 to 2 years of experience.

This experience can often be gained through part-time roles, internships, or even volunteer work in funeral homes.

Candidates with over 3 years of experience are often considered for more advanced undertaker roles, where they may be responsible for managing the funeral home or training new apprentices.

Those with more than 5 years of experience are often in a position to take on leadership roles within a funeral home, managing a team of funeral service workers, and potentially owning or managing their own funeral home.


Undertaker Education and Training Requirements

Becoming an Undertaker, also known as a Funeral Director, requires a combination of formal education and practical training.

The minimum requirement is an associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science, but a bachelor’s degree can lead to broader opportunities.

These programs typically cover subjects such as grief counseling, business law, funeral service ethics, embalming, restorative art, and funeral service merchandising.

In addition to this, most states in the US require Undertakers to have a license to practice.

Licensing requirements vary by state, but generally, the individual must be at least 21 years old, have completed an accredited funeral service education program, and served an internship or apprenticeship that ranges from one to three years.

The internship provides hands-on experience in all facets of funeral services under the supervision of a licensed funeral director.

It covers tasks such as transportation of bodies, embalming, arranging and conducting funerals, and completing legal documents.

After completing the education and training requirements, Undertakers must take a state board examination to receive their license.

Furthermore, Undertakers are encouraged to take part in continuing education programs to stay updated on the latest trends and regulations in the funeral service profession.

Some Undertakers may also choose to earn voluntary certifications to demonstrate their expertise in the field.

For instance, the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) credential from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, which requires a combination of academic and professional achievements.

Having advanced degrees, certifications, and a commitment to ongoing learning may indicate a candidate’s dedication to providing compassionate and professional funeral services.


Undertaker Salary Expectations

An Undertaker, also known as a Funeral Director, earns an average salary of $58,360 (USD) per year.

This figure can fluctuate based on factors such as the undertaker’s level of experience, their specific role and responsibilities within the funeral home, and the geographical location in which they work.


Undertaker Job Description FAQs

What skills does an undertaker need?

Undertakers, also known as funeral directors, need excellent interpersonal and communication skills, as they often deal with grieving family members.

They need good organizational skills and attention to detail to plan funeral services and handle all the legal paperwork.

They also need to be sensitive, compassionate and patient, as dealing with bereaved families requires understanding and empathy.


Do undertakers need a degree?

Most undertakers hold an associate’s degree in mortuary science.

Additionally, they need to be licensed by the state in which they wish to practice.

The licensure requirements vary by state, but usually include a certain amount of experience and passing an examination.

Some states may also require undertakers to complete continuing education courses to maintain their licenses.


What should you look for in an undertaker resume?

The first thing to look for in an undertaker’s resume is their licensure and education in mortuary science.

Experience in arranging and directing funerals, embalming, and handling legal paperwork should also be clearly stated.

Furthermore, any customer service experience can be beneficial as they often work closely with grieving families.


What qualities make a good undertaker?

A good undertaker is compassionate, understanding, and patient, as they must help people during one of the most challenging times of their lives.

They should also be professional and respectful, as this is a very personal and sensitive service.

They must be detail-oriented to ensure all elements of a funeral service run smoothly and according to the family’s wishes.

Lastly, a good undertaker has strong communication skills to clearly explain the process and options to families.


Is it difficult to hire undertakers?

Hiring undertakers can be challenging due to the specific educational and licensure requirements, as well as the emotional toll of the job.

Many people may find the nature of the work difficult, which can lead to a smaller pool of interested and qualified candidates.

However, for those with the right qualifications and disposition, it can be a very rewarding profession.



There you have it.

Today, we’ve explored the depths of what being an undertaker truly entails.


It’s not just about managing funerals.

It’s about providing comfort and support in times of grief, one funeral at a time.

Armed with our reliable undertaker job description template and real-life scenarios, you’re primed for your next career step.

But why halt the journey here?

Delve deeper with our job description generator. It’s your ultimate guide to creating meticulously detailed listings or refining your resume to brilliance.


Every funeral service is a part of a larger narrative.

Let’s assist those in grief. Together.

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