Career Information Hotline

Toll Free 1-800-661-3753

Edmonton 780-422-4266

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up
Occupational Profile

Embalmer

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

  • Avg. Salary $62,376.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.95
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Mortician, Undertaker

NOC & Interest Codes
The Embalmer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Embalmers
NOC code: 6272.2
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 21, 2016

Embalmers care for deceased persons with dignity and respect. In general, they:

  • embalm human remains to restore, preserve and disinfect them
  • perform necessary cosmetology or restorative work to improve appearance
  • dress deceased persons and place them in caskets
  • maintain records, arrange equipment and assist in the general maintenance of the funeral home.

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

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Embalmers must follow the health precautions and regulations required for personal and public hygiene. Most of their work is done under surgical conditions in a preparation room.

In larger funeral homes, embalmers work normal office hours plus some evening work. In small establishments, they may work longer hours or be required to pick up deceased persons at any hour.

Some heavy lifting over 20 kilograms is required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Embalmers need the following characteristics:

  • physical strength and endurance
  • good finger and manual dexterity
  • emotional stability
  • an interest in clinical, scientific and artistic subjects
  • a caring attitude toward the deceased and the bereaved.

They should enjoy work with clear rules and organized methods; working with tools, equipment and instruments at tasks which require precision; and finding ways to restore bodies to as natural an appearance as possible.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2016

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.

Canadian College of Funeral Service

Mount Royal University

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

Based in Dauphin, Manitoba, the Canadian College of Funeral Service offers online distance learning programs including periodic workshops and seminars held in Alberta in a classroom setting. 3 options are offered:

  • a 2-year Embalmer Licensure program. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, have 2 letters of reference and be sponsored by a licensed embalmer.
  • a 2-year Funeral Director and Embalmer Licensure program. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, have 2 letters of reference and be sponsored by a licensed funeral director and embalmer.
  • a 10-month Funeral Service Foundation program for people who are not sponsored or employed by funeral homes. The entrance requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent and 2 letters of reference.
Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2016

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.

Education

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
11810 Kingsway Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T5G 0X5
Phone number: 780-452-6130
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-563-4652
Fax number: 780-452-6085
Website: www.afsrb.ab.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 21, 2016

Embalmers are employed in funeral homes across the province. Licensed embalmers may train to become funeral directors (for more information, see the Funeral Director 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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Repair, Personal, Religious and Other Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • 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 21, 2016

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 wage was $29.95 an hour. For more information, see the Funeral directors and embalmers wage profile.

 

Related High School Subjects
  • Science
    • Biology
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 21, 2016

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

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 09, 2016. 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.

Was this page useful?
Top