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Embalmer

Embalmers prepare the remains of people who have died and make them ready for public visitation and burial.

  • Avg. Salary $48,946.00
  • Avg. Wage $28.21
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Mortician, Undertaker

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Embalmers (6272.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Funeral Directors and Embalmers (G912) 
  • 2011 NOC: Funeral directors and embalmers (6346) 
  • 2016 NOC: Funeral directors and embalmers (6346) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

22%
22%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Embalmer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Embalmers
METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to prepare the remains of deceased persons for public visitation

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to preserve, sanitize and prepare remains for funeral services

directive

Interest in supervising funeral home attendants and other funeral home staff

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Embalmers use dignity and respect in their care for deceased persons. In general, they:

  • Embalm human remains to preserve and disinfect them
  • Perform cosmetology or restorative work to return bodies to as natural an appearance as possible
  • Dress deceased persons and place them in caskets
  • Maintain records, arrange equipment and assist in the general maintenance of the funeral home
  • Maintain a clean working environment and understand the importance of personal protective equipment
  • Follow health precautions and regulations for personal and public hygiene

Embalmers may also supervise funeral attendants or other funeral home staff.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Most of an embalmer’s work is done under surgical conditions in a preparation room.

In larger funeral homes, embalmers work normal office hours and some evenings. In small establishments, they may work longer hours. Embalmers may be required to transfer remains into care at any hour.

Some heavy lifting is required.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Embalmers need:

  • Discretion
  • A caring attitude toward the deceased and the bereaved
  • Emotional stability
  • Physical strength and endurance
  • The ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Finger and manual dexterity
  • An interest in clinical, scientific and artistic subjects
  • An aptitude for math
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills

They should enjoy:

  • Working with clear rules and organized methods
  • Working with tools, equipment and instruments at tasks which require precision
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Embalmers should have an interest in and knowledge of anatomy. They should have mathematical skills to calculate chemical strengths.

Prospective embalmers should discuss training options with practising funeral directors or embalmers before enrolling in a program.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Mount Royal University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Funeral Service Occupations

Funeral directors take charge of caring for the remains of people who have died, help families plan funeral services, and co-ordinate and manage arrangements for services. Embalmers prepare the remains for public visitation and burial. Business managers manage funeral service businesses. Pre-need salespersons draw up and sign pre-need funeral service contracts on behalf of the business.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Funeral Services Act and General Regulation, funeral directors, embalmers, business managers and pre-need salespersons must be licensed through the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board (AFSRB). A licence is not required to work as a funeral attendant under the supervision of a licensed embalmer or funeral director.

What You Need

Applicants for licensing must pass the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory examination with a mark of at least 65%. Graduates of training programs offered in other provinces also must satisfy experience requirements and be sponsored by an Alberta funeral service. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the AFSRB website or contact the AFSRB.

Working in Alberta

Funeral directors, embalmers and pre-need salespersons who are licensed by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for licensing in Alberta if licensed practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board
180, 2755 Broadmoor Blvd
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Canada  T8H 2W7

Call: 780-452-6130
Toll-free (within Alberta): 1-800-563-4652
Fax number: 780-452-6085
Website: afsrb.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Embalmers are employed in funeral homes across the province. Licensed embalmers may train to become funeral directors, and many funeral homes prefer dual licensing as an embalmer and funeral director. For more information, see the Funeral Director occupational profile.

Embalmers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6346: Funeral directors and embalmers. In Alberta, most people employed in this classification work in the Other Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Other Services industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years. However, demand for embalming services is declining because more people are choosing cremation.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Embalmers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6346: Funeral directors and embalmers.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Funeral directors and embalmers occupational group earned on average from $23.30 to $37.00 an hour. The overall average was $29.95 an hour. More recent data is not available.

Funeral directors and embalmers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.50 $28.85 $21.72 $20.19
Overall $20.00 $40.00 $28.21 $26.44
Top $22.00 $52.20 $33.99 $31.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

22%
22%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

2%
2%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Funeral Service Association (AFSA) website: afsa.ca

Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board (AFSRB) website: afsrb.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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