Funeral Director

Job Description:

Funeral directors organise burials and cremations and support people who have lost a loved one.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • help families plan funerals, including the time, date and location
  • manage team members on the day of the funeral
  • organise services like flowers, transport and notices
  • explain laws about funerals and help families fill in forms
  • advise on types of memorials, like headstones


You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • sensitivity, understanding, compassion, and empathy
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (adaptability)
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job by doing an apprenticeship or working your way up.

You can start by taking a funeral team member intermediate apprenticeship.

Once you have one year of experience, you can do a funeral director advanced apprenticeship.

You could get a job at a funeral home, supporting funeral directors. You would then get experience as you learn on the job.

To do this, you usually need:

  • customer service experience
  • to use a computer well
  • administration skills

Qualifications while you work
While you work, you could take a diploma in funeral arranging and administration or a certificate in funeral service.

As you take on more responsibilities, you could do the diploma in funeral directing or the diploma in funeral service.

School Subjects

To become a funeral director, specific GCSE subjects are not mandatory. However, certain subjects can provide a foundation of skills and knowledge that may be helpful in this profession, such as:

  1. English Language: Strong communication skills are essential in this role, as funeral directors often work closely with grieving families and need to handle sensitive situations with empathy and professionalism.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for handling financial aspects of funeral arrangements and managing budgets.
  3. Religious Studies: Understanding different religious and cultural funeral customs can be valuable, as funeral directors often need to cater to various traditions and practices.
  4. Health and Social Care: This subject can provide insights into dealing with bereavement, grief counseling, and supporting families during challenging times.
  5. Business Studies: Knowledge of business principles can be beneficial if you plan to run your own funeral home or manage the business aspects of a funeral home.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your working hours could vary, and you could be on a rota system.

Most of your administration work would be done during office hours, but you’ll often need to visit clients in the evenings or at weekends.

You’ll be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Attending funerals involves being outdoors in all weather conditions.

Career Path & Progression:

If you work for a large organisation, you could be promoted to branch, area or regional manager.

With experience and training, you could become a tutor and teach others how to become a funeral director.