Funeral service workers held about 60,400 jobs in 2014. Approximately 54 percent worked in the death care services industry. About half of all funeral service workers were self-employed in 2014.
Funeral services traditionally take place in a house of worship, in a funeral home, or at a gravesite or crematory. However, some families prefer holding the service in their home or in a social center.
Funeral service managers work mostly in a funeral home office.
Morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors work mostly in funeral homes that have a merchandise display room and, sometimes, a chapel. Some also may operate a crematory or cemetery, which may be on the premises. The mood can be quiet and somber, and the work is often stressful, because workers must arrange the various details of a funeral within 24 to 72 hours of death. In addition, they may be responsible for managing multiple funerals on the same day.
Although workers sometimes may come into contact with bodies that have contagious diseases, the work is not dangerous if proper safety and health regulations are followed. Those working in crematories are exposed to high temperatures and must wear protective clothing.
Most funeral service workers are employed full time. They are often on call and long workdays are common, including evenings and weekends.