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Occupation Details

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Embalmer

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€20k > 40
Embalmer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 40
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: April, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Takes steps to preserve dead bodies and make them suitable for public display at a funeral.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Embalmer - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Funeral Home Manager - from: icould [UK] Video

Go..Search YouTube for Embalmer videos

The Work header image

Embalmers use chemicals and medical instruments to prepare the body of someone who's died for burial or cremation. This is done for three main reasons. Firstly, to keep the body preserved until the funeral. Secondly, for presentation - relatives and friends may want to view their loved one in a peaceful and natural state. Thirdly, sanitation - embalming ensures that there are no health risks to those who come into contact with the body.  
 
Embalmers inject chemicals, sometimes using electric pumps, into the arteries, and these chemicals preserve the body. Waste body fluids are then drained and removed. It may be necessary to do some cosmetic work, such as hairdressing and application of make-up.  
 
In some circumstances, perhaps if the deceased has been involved in an accident, the embalmer will need to do some restorative work. While embalmers are trained in all aspects of the job, some specialise in restorative work.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Dress bodies and place them in caskets.

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Conform to laws of health and sanitation and ensure that legal requirements concerning embalming are met.

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Close incisions, using needles and sutures.

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Attach trocar to pump-tube, start pump, and repeat probing to force embalming fluid into organs.

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Wash and dry bodies, using germicidal soap and towels or hot air dryers.

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Incise stomach and abdominal walls and probe internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs.

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Join lips, using needles and thread or wire.

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Reshape or reconstruct disfigured or maimed bodies when necessary, using dermasurgery techniques and materials such as clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax.

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Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter.

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Make incisions in arms or thighs and drain blood from circulatory system and replace it with embalming fluid, using pump.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Performing General Physical Activities: Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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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.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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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.

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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.

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Biology: Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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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.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need an extensive knowledge of human anatomy and the bacteria that can act on it. You should also be able to deal with distressing situations, especially if the deceased has not died of natural causes and not squeamish.  
 
A caring nature is an important quality - you have the responsibility to make sure that the deceased look at peace. It's also important to maintain confidentiality as a mark of respect for the family and friends of the deceased.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Embalmer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Funeral Director - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Association of Funeral Directors
Address: Mespil House, Mespil Business Centre,Sussex Road, Dublin 4
Tel: 1 800 927 111
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: British Institute of Embalmers
Address: 21c Station Road, Knowle, Solihull, B93 0HL, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1564 778991
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish School of Funeral Directors and Embalmers
Address: Emmet Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo
Tel: (096) 70669
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Medical & Healthcare

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