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What They Do

Embalmers Career Video

About This Career

Prepares bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Personal Care Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Conforms to laws of health and sanitation and ensures that legal requirements concerning embalming are met.
  • Joins lips, using needles and thread or wire.
  • Applies cosmetics to impart lifelike appearance to the deceased.
  • Closes incisions, using needles and sutures.
  • Incises stomach and abdominal walls and probes internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs.
  • Cleans and disinfects areas in which bodies are prepared and embalmed.
  • Dresses bodies and places them in caskets.
  • Makes incisions in arms or thighs and drains blood from circulatory system and replaces it with embalming fluid, using pump.
  • Removes the deceased from place of death and transports to funeral home.
  • Performs the duties of funeral directors, including coordinating funeral activities.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Trade Embalmer
  • Licensed Embalmer


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  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733