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Funeral directors/embalmers need to be mature, tactful, patient, responsible and concerned for others. They also need to have an eye for detail and must be practical, punctual and able to keep information private.
Funeral directors/embalmers need to have a tidy appearance and should be reasonably physically fit as they often have to transport bodies and caskets.
As funeral homes offer 24-hour service 365 days a year, those in the profession are required to work on a roster.
- provide information over the phone to bereaved people
- arrange for the removal of bodies from private homes, hospitals and sometimes from accident scenes
- give advice on funeral arrangements
- hygienically prepare and casket bodies for viewing and for burial or cremation
- arrange and direct funerals, which may include booking the cemetery or crematoria, arranging for death notices in newspapers, printing the order of service sheets and organising the floral tributes
- liaise with clergy or celebrants
- attend the service and look after the family
- organise the reception after the service, including the catering
- transport the casket from the service to the burial or cremation
- assist with legal details, such as Work and Income (WINZ) and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims
- register the death
Funeral Director or Embalmer?
There are two distinct career paths that can be followed:
- Funeral Director, dealing with the bereaved family (i.e. arranging and directing a funeral in accordance with that family's wishes).
- Embalmer (treating the deceased human body for reasons of hygiene, sanitation and to prepare the deceased for family viewing - a factor which is accepted as an important part of the grieving process).
Naturally a person taking both career paths is of much greater value to a firm.
If you are interested in a career as a Funeral Director/Embalmer, please contact your local Funeral Director to register your interest and find out more about a career in the Funeral Industry.
Pre-employment Funeral Service Certificate.
This course is designed to support anyone considering a career in the funeral profession or anyone who would like a better understanding of the profession, including new employees within the funeral business.
Delivered entirely online, this self-paced certificate course will help the learner gain an understanding of whether a career in the funeral profession is right for them.
Upon successful completion the learner will receive a Funeral Directors Association endorsed Certificate of Completion. This can be added to job applications/curriculum vitaes to show prospective employers your commitment to a career in the funeral profession.
This course takes 4 hours to complete, costs $97.75 (gst incl), and covers the below topics:
- The Funeral Directors Association and the important role they play in the funeral profession in New Zealand
- Funerals and society from a New Zealand and global perspective
- The important role of the Funeral Director
- An introduction to the cremation process
- An introduction to the embalming process
NZ Diploma in Funeral Directing
The Open Polytechnic NZ offers the NZ Diploma in Funeral Directing (Level 5).
The online New Zealand Diploma in Funeral Directing (Level 5) allows you to maintain professional standards for the funeral services industry. This programme will provide individuals who are employed as a funeral director in the funeral services industry, a credential that will support their employment opportunities.
Graduates of this qualification will be able to:
- Conduct themselves in a professional manner, applying the code of industry conduct to funeral directing services
- Communicate funeral service options, and work with bereaved families and whānau to provide an optimal outcome for the funeral service
- Communicate with stakeholders throughout the process of providing funeral directing services
- Integrate the history and philosophy of funeral directing into processes
- Identify bereaved families’ needs, wishes and cultural expectations for funeral activities
- Coordinate funeral activities within the legal and ethical requirements of funeral directing
- Work safely, managing the health and safety of themselves, others and the environment within the funeral directing industry.
At successful completion students will be awarded the New Zealand Diploma in Funeral Directing (Level 5). More info here....
NZ Diploma in Embalming
Kalandra offers the Diploma in Embalming (Level 5) programme. This online course is designed for those working in the funeral services sector who will require practical skills to endorse their theoretical knowledge.
Graduates of this programme will be able work independently, safely and with a knowledge of health and safety of the embalming process, on a dead human body.
The types of theory covered in the programme include:
- Professional Embalming
- Mortuary Layout and Maintenance
- Science within the Embalming Process
- Preparation for Embalming
- Specialised Embalming
- Embalming Presentation
- Embalming Practice
At successful completion students will be awarded the New Zealand Diploma in Embalming (Level 5). More info here....