Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors

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About the Job

Perform various tasks to arrange and direct funeral services, such as coordinating transportation of body to mortuary, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, aiding with the selection of officials for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.

It is also Called

  • Undertaker
  • Mortician
  • Licensed Mortician
  • Licensed Funeral Director
  • Hospital Mortician
  • Funeral Prearrangement Counselor
  • Funeral Pre-Need Consultant
  • Funeral Pre-arrangement Specialist
  • Funeral Pre-arrangement Counselor
  • Funeral Planning Counselor
View All

What They Do

  • Manage funeral home operations, including the hiring, training, or supervision of embalmers, funeral attendants, or other staff.
  • Participate in community activities for funeral home promotion or other purposes.
  • Receive or usher people to their seats for services.
  • Arrange for pallbearers or inform pallbearers or honorary groups of their duties.
  • Clean funeral home facilities and grounds.
  • Discuss and negotiate prearranged funerals with clients.
  • Plan placement of caskets at funeral sites or place or adjust lights, fixtures, or floral displays.
  • Provide or arrange transportation between sites for the remains, mourners, pallbearers, clergy, or flowers.
  • Inform survivors of benefits for which they may be eligible.
  • Direct preparations and shipment of bodies for out-of-state burial.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ESC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Enterprising interests, but also prefer Social and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $52,220 with most people making between $27,100 and $91,880


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,220 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,300 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 8 openings due to growth and about 22 replacement openings for approximately 30 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education