Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 39-4011 Embalmers
Prepare bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.
Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
OJT: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Tasks: Dress bodies and place them in caskets. Conform to laws of health and sanitation and ensure that legal requirements concerning embalming are met. Close incisions, using needles and sutures. Attach trocar to pump-tube, start pump, and repeat probing to force embalming fluid into organs. Wash and dry bodies, using germicidal soap and towels or hot air dryers. Incise stomach and abdominal walls and probe internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs. Join lips, using needles and thread or wire. Reshape or reconstruct disfigured or maimed bodies when necessary, using dermasurgery techniques and materials such as clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax. Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter. Make incisions in arms or thighs and drain blood from circulatory system and replace it with embalming fluid, using pump. Maintain records such as itemized lists of clothing or valuables delivered with body and names of persons embalmed. Apply cosmetics to impart lifelike appearance to the deceased. Remove the deceased from place of death and transport to funeral home. Insert convex celluloid or cotton between eyeballs and eyelids to prevent slipping and sinking of eyelids. Perform the duties of funeral directors, including coordinating funeral activities. Assist with placing caskets in hearses and organize cemetery processions. Serve as pallbearers, attend visiting rooms, and provide other assistance to the bereaved. Conduct interviews to arrange for the preparation of obituary notices, to assist with the selection of caskets or urns, and to determine the location and time of burials or cremations. Arrange funeral home equipment and perform general maintenance. Perform special procedures necessary for remains that are to be transported to other states or overseas, or where death was caused by infectious disease. Arrange for transporting the deceased to another state for interment. Direct casket and floral display placement and arrange guest seating. Supervise funeral attendants and other funeral home staff. Press diaphragm to evacuate air from lungs.
License: The applicant should contact the Alabama Board of Funeral Services for application forms, and examination schedules. Additional Information: In Alabama, a mortuary science certificate or associate degree may be obtained from Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham or Bishop State Community College in Mobile. Annual Apprentice Fee: $20.00 Application Fee: $50.00 Annual License Renewal Fee: $50.00 Annual License Renewal Late Fee: $25.00
Outlook: poor
Alabama Employment Outlook
Alabama Wage Data
Hourly Wage   Annual Wage
Entry $10.65   Entry $22,147.00
Mean $21.60   Mean $44,915.00
Experience $27.06 Experience $56,295.00

The data is based on the May 2017 Occupation Employment Survey employment and wage estimate file. The wages have been aged using the most current ECI factors reflecting wages as of June 2018.

Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2016Projected Employment 2026Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
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Occupational Videos
39-4011.00 Embalmers