Arranging for farewell
THE small industry workforce can make it difficult for funeral directors to recruit embalmers.
There are 2400 people employed in the funeral industry in Australia, which the Employment Department forecasts to grow by 1200 in the five years to 2017.
Alfred James Funeral Directors managing director Graham James says personality traits common to mature-age workers are required.
Embalmers need to be able to deal with people from a range of backgrounds and with varying interests, and accurate record keeping is critical.
“There’s not many careers where you deal with such a wide range of people,” he says.
“They also need to do other things, like arranging and conducting of funerals to washing cars. I don’t think it’s mentally or emotionally healthy to be locked up in a morgue for five days a week. They need to go out and about among the living.”
Study for a Certificate IV in Embalming can be arranged while working at a funeral home, as students need to have a practising mentor.