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Career profile Funeral Attendant

Also known as Crematory Operator, Funeral Assistant, Funeral Attendant, Funeral Greeter, Funeral Home Assistant, Funeral Home Associate, Funeral Home Attendant

Funeral Attendant

Also known as Crematory Operator, Funeral Assistant, Funeral Attendant

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$20,160 - $46,160 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Speaking
  • Service Orientation
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Psychology
Core tasks
  • Embalm, dress, cosmeticize, and casket the deceased.
  • Greet people at the funeral home.
  • Transport the deceased to the funeral home.
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What does a Funeral Attendant do?

Funeral Attendants perform a variety of tasks during funeral, such as placing casket in parlor or chapel prior to service, arranging floral offerings or lights around casket, directing or escorting mourners, closing casket, and issuing and storing funeral equipment.

What kind of tasks does a Funeral Attendant perform regularly?

Funeral Attendants are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Greet people at the funeral home.
  • Transport the deceased to the funeral home.
  • Perform a variety of tasks during funerals to assist funeral directors and to ensure that services run smoothly and as planned.
  • Direct or escort mourners to parlors or chapels in which wakes or funerals are being held.
  • Close caskets at appropriate point in services.
  • Attend to the needs of the bereaved, such as by offering comfort, counseling, or after-care programs.
  • Offer assistance to mourners as they enter or exit limousines.
  • Place caskets in parlors or chapels prior to wakes or funerals.
  • Carry flowers to hearses or limousines for transportation to places of interment.
  • Clean and drive funeral vehicles, such as cars or hearses, in funeral processions.
  • Supervise funeral processions and assist with cemetery parking.
  • Arrange floral offerings or lights around caskets.
  • Perform various administrative tasks, such as typing documents or answering telephone calls.
  • Act as pallbearers.
  • Clean funeral parlors or chapels.
  • Deliver floral arrangements or other items to family members of the deceased.
  • Issue and store funeral equipment.
  • Perform general maintenance tasks for funeral homes, such as maintaining equipment or caring for funeral grounds.
  • Provide advice to mourners on how to make charitable donations in honor of the deceased.

The above responsibilities are specific to Funeral Attendants. More generally, Funeral Attendants are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
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.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with People Outside the 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.

What is a Funeral Attendant salary?

The median salary for a Funeral Attendant is $29,150, and the average salary is $31,130. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Funeral Attendant salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Funeral Attendants earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Funeral Attendants earn less than $20,160 per year, 25% earn less than $23,770, 75% earn less than $36,690, and 90% earn less than $46,160.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Funeral Attendants is expected to change by 3.3%, and there should be roughly 5,800 open positions for Funeral Attendants every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$20,160 - $46,160
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Funeral Attendants?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Funeral Attendant are usually higher in their Social, Realistic, and Enterprising interests.

Funeral Attendants typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Funeral Attendants typically have moderate Realistic interests. 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.

Lastly, Funeral Attendants typically have moderate Enterprising interests. 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.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Funeral Attendant tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Funeral Attendants strongly value 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.

Second, Funeral Attendants moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Funeral Attendants somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Funeral Attendants must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, dependability, and concern for others.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Funeral Attendants, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Funeral Attendants need?

Working as a Funeral Attendant usually requires a high school diploma.

Funeral Attendants need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Funeral Attendants

  • 6.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 25.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 26.8% completed some college coursework
  • 16.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 19.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.4% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Funeral Attendants

Funeral Attendants may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, public safety and security, or psychology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Funeral Attendants might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
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.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Funeral Attendants

Funeral Attendants must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Funeral Attendants need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and speech recognition in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Funeral Attendants, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Funeral Attendants

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Funeral Attendants frequently use skills like social perceptiveness, speaking, and service orientation to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Funeral Attendants, ranked by their relative importance.

Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
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.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.