Career as Embalmer

Stream : Health Science
Sub Stream : Psychologist


Embalmers prepare the dead for burial. The embalming process disinfects the body to prevent the spread of disease. It also preserves the body for funeral services. Most embalmers work for funeral homes, hospitals, medical schools, and morgues (places where bodies are held until they can be identified or until the cause of death can be determined). Many embalmers also serve as funeral directors. 
Embalmers must know and follow the laws that deal with the handling and treatment of dead bodies. When they are given a body to prepare, they wash it with germicidal soap and dry it. They also shave the body if necessary. During the embalming process, embalmers insert tubes into the body to remove the blood and replace it with embalming fluid. Embalmers sometimes also reshape parts of the body using materials such as cotton, plastic, or wax. They may apply cosmetics to give the face a lifelike appearance. They also dress the body and arrange it in a casket. If the body is to be sent to another area for burial, embalmers place it in a special transportation case. 
Embalmers who work for small funeral homes also perform other tasks, such as serving as pallbearers or helping during funeral services. Embalmers who work in hospitals, medical schools, or morgues help to prepare bodies for autopsies, which are examinations after death, or for dissection. They may also help at autopsies. Sometimes they have to file police reports or testify at inquests, which are official inquiries into the cause of death.

Job Responsibilities:

An ergonomist is an occupational health expert mainly involved in the designing of efficient and comfortable tools, equipments, and furniture for use in work place of different organizations by the application of scientific knowledge and problem-solving skills. Consideration of human anatomy along with safety to minimize physical strain is the working motto of an ergonomist, who uses a holistic approach to ensure the physical, social, cognitive, organizational, environmental, and other important factors for designing and modification of any system. The main responsibilities include the following: 
a) Interpreting the interaction of humans with the equipments, to analyse the limitations of human body by careful observation and evaluation in the working environment. 
b) Study system performance by developing experimental designs, using data collections instruments and procedures to analyse workplace risk assessments. 
c) Assess the effect of working environment on the users and analyse the areas for improvement and optimization of existing practices and procedures. 
d) Investigate the demands forced on the workers regarding their physical, postural, physiological, cognitive, job, work, and stress parameters. 
e) With the help of different instruments, modelling and simulation studies, the physical environment is assessed. 
f) Designing practical solutions to help the workers and analyse the suitability of these to meet the needs of the workers in terms of motor, cognitive, and sensory capabilities of workers. 
g) Producing user manuals for the proper and efficient use of the new products. 
h) Make reports of the findings and recommendations by writing proposals and presenting statistical data. 
i) Employing creative methods to implement the new systems. 
j) Teaching the workers about the dynamics of human body and proper work practices. 
k) Investigating workplace accidents by visiting a wide range of working environments such as offices, factories, hospitals, etc. and to assess the health and safety standards. 
l) Providing recommendations, training, and advice to the clients as well as colleagues regarding personnel management, and the specification, design, evaluation, operation and maintenance of the products and systems. 
m) Acting as expert witness to industrial injury and understand the working pattern of specific systems and industries in short space of time. 
n) Consulting and liaising with other professionals such as health specialists and designers to collect and integrate data from several scientific and professional points of view. 
o) Identifying new opportunities for work.

Employment Opportunities for Embalmer:

Embalmers who choose to remain strictly in the field of embalming can become a chief embalmer in a large funeral home, hospital, medical school, or morgue. Embalmers on the staff of hospitals or medical schools can be appointed to the boards of professional associations and can write articles for professional and scientific journals. Some embalmers become teachers. 
Most embalmers, however, expand their activities and become funeral directors. They can buy an existing funeral home or start a new one. Either venture requires a great deal of money, but loans are available to qualified people. 
The employment outlook for embalmers is expected to be good. As the proportion of people over the age of fifty-five continues to grow, the number of deaths will likely increase. Also, many jobs will open as workers retire or leave the field.

Top Recruiting Companies of Embalmer :

  • National Selected Morticians
  • National Funeral Directors Association

How to become Embalmer?

Interested individuals can begin to prepare for a career as an embalmer while in high school. Courses in science and art are useful for the technical and artistic sides of embalming. If individuals want to work in other areas of funeral service, they will find that psychology, sociology, speech, and business subjects are also helpful. Prospective embalmers can get practical experience working part time or during summers in a funeral home. 
There are special programs to train embalmers. They are called mortuary science programs and are offered by private vocational schools. They take nine months to three years to complete. A few colleges also offer four-year programs in funeral service. Candidates will need to serve an apprenticeship of one to three years during or after formal training. 
All states require embalmers to be licensed. Requirements vary, but, typically, candidates must be at least twenty-one years old and a graduate of a high school and a mortuary science school. Prospective embalmers usually need to complete an apprenticeship and pass a state board examination. Most states require a year or more of college before individuals can start their specialized training. Most embalmers get a license as a funeral director as well. 
Getting the Job 
Interested candidates can apply directly to funeral homes or other institutions that employ embalmers. A local phone book can be a good source for contact information. Although most funeral homes are family businesses, many employ people who are not members of the family. Embalmers may continue working at funeral homes where they had part-time jobs while still in school or where they served apprenticeships. Most schools of mortuary science have placement services that can help candidates to find a job. Newspaper classifieds and Internet job banks may list openings. Prospective workers can also contact professional associations for information on available positions. Members of the clergy may be able to introduce job seekers to local funeral directors.

Median Pay Scale/salary of Embalmer :

Licensed embalmers earn a median salary of Rs.34,690 per year. Salaries vary, however, depending on experience, geographical location, and the volume of business at particular establishments. Benefits include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and pension plans. 

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