Funeral Workers

ANZSCO ID 4513

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
2,700
Future Growth
5.7%
Weekly Earnings
$1,356
Full-Time Share
71%
Female Share
45%
Average age
52

Summary

Funeral Workers prepare bodies for viewing and burial, arrange and conduct funerals, and perform other specialist funereal services.

Tasks

  • interviewing families and associates of the deceased to assist with funeral arrangements such as the selection of coffin, type of service and publication of death notices

  • advising on funeral costs and welfare provisions

  • collecting bodies from mortuaries

  • ensuring death certificates have been issued, burial and cremation certificates processed and that other legal requirements are met

  • preparing bodies for viewing and burial by washing, draining body fluids, applying padding and cosmetics, dressing bodies and placing them in coffins

  • liaising with clergy and cemetery and crematorium staff

  • coordinating the movement of coffins and funeral cars, arranging floral displays and collecting attendance and tribute cards

  • arranging the placement of coffins at funeral sites, and placing and adjusting floral displays and lighting

  • keeping records and accounts of transactions and services performed

  • may arrange the construction of memorials and the disposal of ashes

Characteristics

Job Type
Community And Personal Service Workers
Skill Level
High skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Administrative
  • Enterprising
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:

  • is expected to grow moderately
  • is likely to reach 3,300 by 2026.
  • Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

    Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

    Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
5.7%
(or 200 jobs)
From
3,200
in 2021
To
3,300
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 3,600
2012 1,500
2013 2,700
2014 4,100
2015 2,400
2016 2,900
2017 3,500
2018 5,900
2019 2,600
2020 5,700
2021 3,200
2026 3,300

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 71% of people employed as Funeral Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 5 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 45 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,356 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,263
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,514

    Median hourly earnings are $34, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Funeral Workers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,356 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Other Services
100.0%
  • Most Funeral Workers work in the Other services industry.

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.


Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

32.5% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

26.2% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

18.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

8.8% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

9.8% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

3.0% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.3% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.1% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Funeral Workers All Jobs Average
NSW 32.5 31.6
VIC 26.2 25.6
QLD 18.2 20.0
SA 8.8 7.0
WA 9.8 10.8
TAS 3.0 2.0
NT 0.3 1.0
ACT 1.1 1.9


  • Around 50% of Funeral Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
52
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
45%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Funeral Workers is 52 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 45% of the workforce. This is 3 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Funeral Workers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.6 5.0
20-24 2.9 9.3
25-34 8.8 22.9
35-44 16.9 22.0
45-54 30.9 21.6
55-59 13.8 9.0
60-64 13.2 6.0
65 and Over 13.1 4.2
Median Age 52 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Funeral Worker or Director. Although some workers have a qualification in funeral services.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Funeral Services VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Funeral Workers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 2.5 10.1
Bachelor degree 9.1 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 13.7 11.6
Certificate III/IV 23.4 21.1
Year 12 21.2 18.1
Year 11 8.5 4.8
Year 10 and below 21.6 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Funeral Workers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic, physically fit and can interact well with others.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 64%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 61%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 59%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 57%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 55%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 54%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 54%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 54%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 54%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 54%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 54%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 52%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 50%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 48%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 46%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 46%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 45%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 43%

    Management of financial resources

    Figuring out how money is needed to do something, and keeping track of the money that's being spent.

  • 43%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 39%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 90%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 65%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 63%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 61%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 60%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 60%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 59%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 58%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 58%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 57%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 57%

    Philosophy and theology

    Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.

  • 55%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 52%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 51%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 50%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 49%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 43%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  • 42%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 42%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 42%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 61%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 57%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 57%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 55%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 55%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 52%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 52%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 50%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 48%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 48%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 46%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 45%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 45%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 45%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 43%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.

  • 43%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 41%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 41%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 39%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 39%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 79%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 76%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 74%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 73%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 68%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 68%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 66%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 64%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 64%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 63%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 61%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 61%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 60%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 60%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 58%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 57%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 55%

    Guiding and directing staff

    Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.

  • 54%

    Providing office support

    Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

  • 52%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 45%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 76%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 62%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 43%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 24%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 90%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 76%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 67%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 62%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 57%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 57%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 98%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 98%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 97%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 96%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 94%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 91%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 90%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

  • 89%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 88%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 88%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 86%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 85%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 85%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 83%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 82%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 82%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 82%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 81%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 80%

    Disease or infection

    Be exposed to disease or infections.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-4031.00 - Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors.


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