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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 co-ordinate 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: Funeral Directors (6272.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Funeral Directors and Embalmers (G912) 
  • 2011 NOC: Funeral directors and embalmers (6346) 
  • 2016 NOC: Funeral directors and embalmers (6346) 
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

DIRECTIVE

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

SOCIAL

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

METHODICAL

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

Abilities

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

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Funeral directors manage the work of bringing the deceased to the funeral home and arranging for a funeral service. In general, they:

  • Provide information about funeral service options, products, and merchandise
  • Maintain a product display area
  • Prepare funeral service contracts
  • Arrange services that fit with the social or religious practices of those involved
  • Help bereaved families with immediate legal, social, and emotional concerns
  • Arrange the time and place of funerals
  • Contact religious leaders
  • File death certificates, obtain burial permits, and contact the cemetery
  • Prepare obituary notices
  • Arrange transportation for mourners, pallbearers, and religious leaders
  • Oversee the progress of funeral services
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Funeral directors sometimes work long, irregular hours. This may include many evenings and weekends. They work indoors and outdoors regardless of weather conditions.

Heavy lifting of up to 40 kg is required.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Funeral directors need:

  • Tact
  • Maturity
  • Emotional stability
  • Compassion
  • Public-speaking ability
  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Sensitivity to the needs of the people they serve

They should enjoy supervising people and co-ordinating information. They should be comfortable consulting with families. They should like having clear rules and organized methods to guide their activities.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary

Funeral directors need good business, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills. Those considering this occupation should discuss their education options with practicing funeral directors before enrolling in a program.

Funeral directors need to have a non-graduated Class 5 driver’s license. They should be bondable. They must pass a police background and criminal record check.


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 31, 2019
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

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.

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Funeral directors work in funeral homes located throughout the province. The Alberta Funeral Service Association helps people interested in training as funeral directors to find potential employers. Relocation to a smaller, rural community may be required.

Self-employed funeral directors must make a large capital investment to purchase or establish a well-furnished funeral home.

Funeral directors may use their business skills to transfer into related occupations. Many funeral directors are licensed embalmers as well.

Funeral directors 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 will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Repair, Personal, Religious and Other Service 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.

In Alberta, the 6346: Funeral directors and embalmers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
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: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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

Funeral directors 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.

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
$28.21
Per Hour
Average Salary
$48,946.00
Per Year
Average Hours
32.5
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 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
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.

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
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: www.afsa.ca

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

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

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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