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

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

  • 6272.2: Embalmers

2006 NOC-S

  • G912: Funeral Directors and Embalmers

2011 NOC

  • 6346: Funeral directors and embalmers

2016 NOC

  • 6346: Funeral directors and embalmers

2021 NOC

  • 62201: Funeral directors and embalmers

2023 OaSIS

  • 62201.02: Embalmers
Updated Mar 21, 2023

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

  • Embalm human remains to preserve and disinfect them
  • Determine appropriate options for embalming techniques and chemical selection
  • Perform transfers from place of death to funeral home
  • Perform cosmetology or restorative work to return bodies to as natural an appearance as possible
  • Dress deceased persons and place them in caskets for cremation or burial
  • Maintain records, arrange equipment, and assist in the upkeep of the funeral home
  • Maintain a clean working environment and understand the importance of personal protective equipment
  • Follow health precautions and adhere to Occupational Health and Safety Standards for personal and public hygiene

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

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

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

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

Some heavy lifting is required.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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


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


Interest in supervising funeral home attendants and other funeral home staff

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Embalmers need:

  • Problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Discretion and confidentiality
  • Empathy and sympathy toward the deceased and the bereaved
  • Emotional stability (to handle stressful situations)
  • Physical strength and endurance
  • Knowledge of anatomy
  • 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 and microbiology
  • Attention to detail
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to manage time and follow instructions
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Hairdressing and cosmetic skills
  • High standards
  • Flexibility in work hours

They should enjoy:

  • Working with clear rules, policies, and protocols
  • Working with tools, equipment, and instruments at precision tasks
  • Following laws and regulations
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary

Embalming training requires 2 years of post-secondary education. Prospective embalmers should discuss training options with practicing 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.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Many funeral homes prefer to hire individuals who have dual licensing as an embalmer and funeral director.

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Funeral Service Occupations

Funeral service occupations include all those involved in providing final care for people who have died, such as funeral directors, embalmers, business managers, and pre-need salespersons. Business managers manage funeral service businesses. Pre-need salespersons draw up and sign pre-need funeral service contracts on behalf of the business.


Under Alberta’s Funeral Services Act [pdf] and General Regulation [pdf], funeral directors, embalmers, business managers, and pre-need salespersons must be licensed through the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board (AFSRB).

You do not need a licence to work as a funeral attendant if you are under the supervision of a licensed embalmer or funeral director.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Funeral Service Occupations.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Embalmers work in funeral homes across the province. Licensed embalmers may train to become funeral directors.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6346: Funeral directors and embalmers occupational group, 98.9% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6346: Funeral directors and embalmers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.8% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 3 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 21, 2023

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Funeral directors and embalmers

2016 NOC: 6346
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6346 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $31.25 $25.29 $26.00
Overall $25.00 $40.00 $33.19 $34.00
Top $30.77 $59.13 $45.59 $45.00

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Alberta Funeral Service Association (AFSA) website:

Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board (AFSRB) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 21, 2023. 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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