Funeral Services

The Funeral Services Industry is a small industry dedicated to arranging and conducting funerals according to the wishes of its clients. It is a difficult industry to find work in as many businesses are family owned. Training typically occurs after someone has been employed by a funeral company.

Occupations in this industry include mortuary assistant, funeral driver, crematorium operator, grounds maintenance worker or gravedigger, funeral arranger, customer service or sales consultant, funeral director or embalmer.

What does this industry cover?

Bespoke funerals are increasing in demand due to cultural and religious attitudes, and those looking for more sustainable options. Natural ‘green’ burials are becoming more popular; consumers are opting for biodegradable coffins and limited or no usage of chemicals. 

Funeral directors or arrangers are increasingly organising or conducting funeral services in unlikely places, such as at the beach or in a forest. Some funeral services are broadcast live for those that cannot attend in person.

There has been a shift to cremations over the last few years, especially in metropolitan areas. Lack of burial space and cost have been the major drivers.

Job hunting information

It is recommended by Industry Associations that if you would like to work in this sector it would be best to approach employers directly. Due to the small employment size, if you are considering working in this industry you will need to multi-skilled and adaptable.

As death can occur at any time you might be required to be on call and expect to work various hours and shifts.

Skills that are important in this industry are: Active Listening, Speaking, Service Orientation, Social Perceptiveness and Critical Thinking.

Due to the sensitive nature of this industry, there is normally not the opportunity to complete work experience or volunteer, and you must be employed before commencing most training, especially to become an embalmer.

Information for further research

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a small industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 2

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have remained stable, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a small to medium sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has increased.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is low.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

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