Are you seeking entry-level work in a funeral home? The following information can give you a better idea of what to expect if you make an application to a local funeral home. The topics covered include the following:
- Funeral Home Jobs That are Open to Teens
- Types of Benefits
- Applying for a Job at a Funeral Home
Funeral Home Jobs That are Open to Teens
While some teens have acquired jobs in funeral homes as assistants, most jobs in a mortuary setting, such as an administrative assistant or funeral services assistant, do require office skills and, preferably, industry experience. Therefore, older teens of 18 or 19 years old are more likely to secure employment. However, that being said, many positions also require that applicants be at least 21 years old.
The major jobs that a teen can obtain in a funeral home include funeral services assistant, administrative assistant or funeral clerk. These jobs are outlined below to give you a better idea of what is involved in each position.
Funeral Services Assistant or Funeral Attendant
Funeral service assistants are responsible for performing tasks assigned by the management staff. Depending on a funeral home’s location, tasks may include the following responsibilities:
- Escorting or directing mourners to chapels or parlors where funerals or wakes are being held.
- Greeting the people entering the funeral home.
- Offering aid to mounters who are exiting or entering limousines.
- Arranging the lights or flowers around caskets.
- Carrying the flowers to the limousines or hearses for transport to the internment site.
- Cleaning and driving the funeral vehicles in processions.
- Assisting funeral directors, as needed, to ensure that a service proceeds as planned.
- Assisting in the placement of the casket before a funeral.
- Cleaning the chapels and parlors.
- Assisting the embalmers with transfers or removals of decedents.
This job requires the completion of a high school education or a background in the funeral service industry. The applicant must hold a valid driver’s license in order to drive a hearse or limousine. Any previous sales or customer service experience is a plus. Knowledge of computer software, such as Microsoft Office, Windows, Excel, and Word, is required as well as the ability to lift at least 100 pounds. Applicants must be able to work weekends or evenings as required.
Because heavy lifting is involved, naturally young men have better opportunities in securing this type of position. If you want to pursue a career as a funeral director, then you will find that this type of job will offer you a chance to gain experience in the field. Most jobs of this type are offered on a part-time basis. So, you could integrate the position with school work.
Full-time positions are also available for older teens as administrative assistants. This position involves providing administrative and clerical support to the funeral home, market office, cemetery, crematory, or a combination of all these facilities. The administrative assistant schedules meetings, transcribes notes, and drafts memos.
He or she may also be required to develop presentations, generate reports, and prepare and track invoicing and costs. This staff position provides administrative support to both staff and management. Administrative assistants may also serve as receptionists and receive and greet families entering the funeral home’s office.
Administrative assistants must possess at least a high school diplomas and three years’ experience in a customer-focused job. They must also have advanced skills in word processing and IT, and an ability to type at least 40 to 60 words per minute. Problem-solving skills and an ability to multi-task are also prerequisites.
Some funeral homes will hire teens as funeral clerks. However, this job is more often open to individuals 21 years or older. This type of job is often open for young people who are currently enrolled as a mortuary student. Applicants must also possess a current driver’s license and a good driving record.
Job duties include assisting in the completion of death certificates and permits for burials as well as preparing announcement cards, prayer cards, and thank you cards. Clerks also assist with the order of specialty items, including urns, blankets, plaques, memorial DVDs, and electronic register books. They greet family members and visitors and handle calls for the mortuary. Operating a fax, inventorying items, or filing may be required as well.
In order to apply as a clerk, applicants must possess a working knowledge of office equipment, including telephone systems, copiers, printers, and fax machines, and must know how to operate specific software programs. These programs include MS Office Suite, Windows, Internet Explorer, or Outlook. Good written and verbal skills are required too.
Types of Benefits
Most funeral homes offer excellent benefits – benefits that come in the form of medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as life insurance plans. Funeral homes often feature 401K retirement programs with a company match. Vacation and sick time, tuition reimbursement, and funeral discounts are normally part of the benefit package as well.
Applying for a Job at a Funeral Home
If you are interested in any of the aforementioned jobs, contact a local funeral home first and find out if they have any positions they need to have filled. If a job is available that meets with your skills and qualifications, ask about the minimum hiring age.
Your resume should reflect a solid knowledge of business machines and software as well as customer service or sales experience. When you contact the funeral home, ask about the application process. Most funeral homes will ask that you submit an application online first in order to proceed to an interview.
During the interview, make sure you wear professional attire. If you are planning to attend mortuary school or are already in mortuary school, make sure you convey this fact if you are applying as a clerk, attendant, or funeral services assistant.
Are you interested in a career in mortuary science? If you currently do not meet the age requirement for an entry-level funeral home job, you can obtain the needed skills in the meantime. Do you have software and customer service skills? Are you kind and empathetic? What type of job interests you at this time?