sympathetic, caring and tactful when meeting bereaved people
dignified and respectful
smart and well presented
a good listener
able to deal with other people’s distress and emotions without being affected yourself
able to get on with people from different backgrounds and cultures
well organised and accurate.
Training is usually on the job – you might start as a funeral operative doing routine work, such as driving, carrying coffins, valeting the funeral cars or collecting the deceased, and then move on to more responsible work such as helping to arrange funerals.
The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) offers a Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration. This is for those who work in the funeral service.
Funeral directors often study for professional qualifications via distance learning leading to NAFD membership.
After gaining experience you could work up from operative to director.
You would need to complete the NAFD Diploma in Funeral Directing.
For entry to the Diploma, you would require the NAFD Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration.
With further experience and qualifications you could become a manager – this is usually possible only in large companies.
Funeral directors may set up their own funeral services company – professional qualifications can be useful for this.