What do Embalmers Do?
The legal rules for internment are quite particular, so an embalmer makes the proper preparations in compliance with these rules using the latest in chemicals, tools and technology. Embalmers also adhere to any instructions and requests from the deceased’s family. This task requires a delicate hand and attention to detail.There are projected to be 110 new job opening for embalmers per year, however that comes with a total decline in employment of 15% across the United States. Some states will see an increase in jobs, though.
Embalmers Skills and Abilities
An embalmer must know a lot about the human body, how it reacts to certain chemicals, and also how to apply make-up and style hair. Thus, the three main areas of knowledge an embalmer must have are:biologychemistrycosmeticsCommunication is important when understanding the wishes of family members and explaining any practices required by law. Sometimes preparations are made with a team of people, so the ability to coordination is also essential. You will need to have good near vision and manual dexterity to adjust and manipulate the tools involved in this position. Additionally, the stress of working closely with bodies means a high level of emotional stamina is necessary.
An embalmer will perform many duties throughout the preparation of a single body. These tasks are meant to preserve or improve the appearance of the deceased, and remove certain bodily fluids and organs. These duties include:evacuating air from lungswithdrawing blood and waste matter from internal organsdraining blood from circulatory system through the arms and legspacking orifices with cotton saturated in embalming fluidclosing all incisionsreconstructing facial and body features with clay, cotton and other materialsEmbalmers may also work alongside coroners and police by assisting with an autopsy, filing police reports, and even testifying in court. An embalmer who also works as a funeral home director will have even more duties relating to overseeing a business and general customer service.
Embalmers Tools and Technology
There are a lot of interesting tools and chemicals used in embalming that you don’t see in many other professions, such as embalming injection and drainage tubes. Forceps of various kinds and extremity positioning rigs are standard. There is some overlap with both surgical and cosmetic tools, so take any opportunity to familiarize yourself with both kinds of equipment.Because some embalmers are also funeral home managers, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of common office software, such as an internet browser, word processing and spreadsheets.
Education and Training for Embalmers
Much of what an embalmer learns is from on-the-job training. Earning a minimum of a high school diploma and a post-secondary non-degree award, such as those issued to EMT’s and paramedics, is enough to get you started in this field. Certification for embalmers is issued by the United States government. An Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science or Embalming will boost your hiring potential.
The median wage for embalmers nationwide is $41,700 per year. The top 10%, on average, make $60,400 while the bottom 10% make $24,100. These salaries depend greatly on your state of employ, with embalmers in Connecticut and Minnesota having the highest median salaries; $66,900 and $55,900, respectively.
Embalmers Jobs by Geography
Embalming is a necessity wherever people gather and live. Some highly populated states, and states with large retirement communities, employ the highest number of embalmers. This includes Texas, Florida and Georgia. The states expected to see the most growth potential in this field are Maryland and Indiana. Be sure to consider both job availability and salary when seeking employment.