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Funeral Director

Funeral directors take charge of caring for the remains of people who have died. They help families plan funeral services, and coordinate and manage arrangements for services.

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

  • 6272.1: Funeral Directors

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

  • 62201.01: Funeral directors
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Funeral directors manage the work of bringing the deceased to the funeral home and arrange for cremation or burial. They guide the deceased’s family or executor to explore options and preferences for final death care (that is, burial or cremation). They arrange ceremonies to recognize the life of the deceased at the funeral.

Funeral directors spend most their time dealing with families and handling legal paperwork. When working with families, they:

  • Help with immediate legal, social, and emotional concerns
  • Arrange commemoration services that fit with the social or religious practices of those involved
  • Arrange the time and place of funerals, memorial services, or celebrations of life
  • Get in touch with religious leaders or provide resource contacts for clients
  • Work with the executor / family to make cemetery arrangements, as required

They provide information about funeral service options. They also maintain a display area for products and merchandise.

When arranging commemoration services, funeral directors juggle many moving pieces. They:

  • Transport the deceased to the funeral home
  • Fill urns, keepsake vessels, and jewelry remembrances with final cremated remains
  • Contact the cemetery
  • Arrange transfer services for the deceased, mourners, pallbearers, or religious leaders
  • Oversee the progress of the funeral service

Funeral direction is a highly regulated profession. Funeral directors must be able to work effectively within the guidelines of legislation regarding disposition of human remains. They:

  • Provide legal documents and filings to help the executor move into the process of settling the deceased’s estate
  • Prepare funeral service contracts that follow directions provided by the deceased and their survivors
  • File death certificates
  • Obtain burial permits
  • Prepare and file obituary notices

Many funeral directors are licensed embalmers as well.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Funeral directors often work long, irregular hours. This may include many evenings, weekends, and holidays. They work on-call since many funeral homes have 24-hour phone lines with a funeral director expected to be available day or night.

They work indoors and outdoors regardless of weather conditions.

Funeral directors may participate in transferring human remains into care. This requires heavy lifting and use of stretchers. They should be able to lift at least 34 kg.

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.

Funeral Directors

2006 NOC: 6272.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in co-ordinating information to manage funeral home operations; and in hiring and supervising embalmers, funeral home attendants and other staff


Interest in consulting with families regarding the nature of the funeral service, disposition of the remains and funeral costs, and to inform survivors of benefits for which they may be eligible


Interest in maintaining financial records; may perform the same duties as embalmers

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 22, 2023

Funeral directors need:

  • Ethics and professionalism
  • Tact
  • Maturity
  • Emotional stability
  • Compassion and sensitivity to the needs of clients
  • Public-speaking skills
  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Conflict-resolution skills
  • Technological skills to provide digital services (e.g. virtual meetings or livestreaming of services)
  • Business skills
  • A willingness to serve others

 They should enjoy:

  • Supervising people
  • Coordinating information
  • Consulting with families
  • Having clear rules and organized methods to guide their activities
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 22, 2023
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary

Funeral directors need to complete an educational program approved by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board to qualify for a funeral director’s licence. Programs that combine funeral director and embalmer training are also available.

Funeral directors also must:

  • Have a non-graduated Class 5 driver’s license
  • Be bondable
  • Pass a police background and criminal record check

Those considering this occupation should discuss their education options with practicing funeral directors 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 22, 2023
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

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

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 22, 2023

Funeral directors work in funeral homes located throughout the province. They may need to relocate to a smaller rural community to complete work experience or apprenticeship requirements.

Funeral directors may use their business skills to transfer into related occupations such as cemetery manager or funeral celebrant. They may also work for funeral supply companies or teach.

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

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 22, 2023

Funeral directors’ earnings vary depending on the location and ownership of the funeral home.

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 22, 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 22, 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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