Upon completing mortuary school in the UK there are two paths you can go down to be a professional embalmer. You can either be a free lance. trade embalmer? Or you can be an employed in house embalmer? Both are as equally rewarding as eachother, both
have theor own unique challenges.
So let's start with trade embalming what does the job entail? Well first of all a trade embalmer will have to be a motivated, self driven individual who has determination and a passion for working long hours. Trade
embalmers are free lance and therefore are self employed. the go from funeral home to funeral home embalming the dead and charging the funeral director for their services. The work can be physically and emotionally demanding, but incredibly rewarding and satisfying.
Trade embalmers are highly skilled and qualified individuals who take their work very seriously and are dedicated professionals.
What are the pros and cons of being a trade embalmer?
Pros: You get to work your own hours and can
earn as much or as little as you like? You can decide how much annual holiday you want to give to yourself? You are your own boss. So you will have no manager or supervisor breathing down your neck telling you what to do and where to go! You decide on what
uniform and equiptment you want to use? You will get immense job satisfaction from carrying out your work as a trade embalmer. If you get a good reputation then your workload will continue to grow.
Cons: The trade embalming market is
a very tough and competetive market to get into. The hours can be long and the work unpredictible? You will not get paid for any holiday you take or for any sickness leave taken. Some trade embalmers may feel that they have to rush from one funeral home to
the other to make up their money? The harsh reality is is that time is money to a trade embalmer and the sooner they get one case done the sooner they can get onto the other to make more money. Not all trade embalmers opoerate this way though. The best thing
to do os to speak to one to find out what the situation os regarding this? All equiptment is your own which means you are responsible for it. Some pieces of embalming equiptment can be expensive to replace if it breaks? This could eat into your profits? You
may find yourself working into the night past office closing hours meaning spending time away from your family?
Now lets look at In house embalming. An in house embalmer is an employee of a funeral home. Sometimes depending on how big the company
is in house embalmers may do another job like funeral service operative, funeral director or even workshop forman alongside embalming? If you work for a much larger company then you may find yourself in the embalming room all day every day? Your hours will
be set along with your wages? Some companies will pay you a fixed feeor some may have you on an hourly rate of pay? Lets take a look at the pros and cons.
Pros: In house
embalmers are funeral home employees. You will have a garunteed wage at the end of each week or each month. Your holidays will be paid for along with any sickness leave. UK law now states that companies have to offer their employees a pension scheme so you
will benefit from this should you choose to accept it? Your working hours will be set. Anything over will be paid to you as over time. As an in house embalmer you will have the added luxury of not rushing cases and will be allowed to take your time to prepare
a body to the best of your ability. All equiptment used is the responsibility of the company so they will have to replace it if it gets broken.
You will not be your own boss. You will be at the beck and call of someone else. Holiday leave will be limited. Usually to only four weeks a year, but this depends on the company you work for? You will be told when you can
start work and when you can finish.
Whatever your decision there are pros and cons on both sides. But please remeber this. No one role is better than the other. Funeral homes in the UK could not exist without the
great works of both trade and in house embalmers. Both sets of professionals are extremely dedicated and committed to their work. Both offer rewards far greater than money, both are qually respected in the industry as eachother. Both are trained to the highest
level of funeral service education. I think the only thing that seperates them is time and expirience. Both can be gained by anyone wanting to embark on such a wonderful and rewarding career.