Chances best for those with funeral directing/embalming experience
Your chances of getting funeral directing/embalming work are strongest if you have relevant experience and qualifications.
Limited opportunities for those looking to get into the role
If you are starting out, chances of getting a job as a funeral director/embalmer are poor because:
- it is a relatively small occupation. According to the Census, 768 funeral directors/embalmers worked in New Zealand in 2018
- people tend to stay in the job for a long time, limiting the number of vacancies
- firms usually prefer to take on experienced people, due to the cost of training
- an increasing preference for direct cremation (where a body is taken straight to be cremated, and there may be no formal funeral) means less demand for funeral directing/embalming services.
Learning embalming skills increases your chances
You can increase your chances of becoming a funeral director by approaching a funeral firm to work as an embalmer. Embalming skills are useful to employers, and the work gives you a chance to learn other aspects of the role.
Types of employers varied
Funeral directors/embalmers can work for:
- large businesses with a number of branches
- small family-run funeral homes.
Some funeral directors run their own businesses.