Mortician Career

Job Description: Prepare bodies for interment in conformity with legal requirements.

*A job as a Mortician falls under the broader career category of Embalmers. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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What Morticians do:

  • Close incisions, using needles and sutures.
  • Conform to laws of health and sanitation and ensure that legal requirements concerning embalming are met.
  • Incise stomach and abdominal walls and probe internal organs, using trocar, to withdraw blood and waste matter from organs.
  • Make incisions in arms or thighs and drain blood from circulatory system and replace it with embalming fluid, using pump.
  • Pack body orifices with cotton saturated with embalming fluid to prevent escape of gases or waste matter.
  • Reshape or reconstruct disfigured or maimed bodies when necessary, using dermasurgery techniques and materials such as clay, cotton, plaster of Paris, and wax.
  • Wash and dry bodies, using germicidal soap and towels or hot air dryers.
  • Join lips, using needles and thread or wire.
  • Insert convex celluloid or cotton between eyeballs and eyelids to prevent slipping and sinking of eyelids.
  • Apply cosmetics to impart lifelike appearance to the deceased.
  • Maintain records such as itemized lists of clothing or valuables delivered with body and names of persons embalmed.
  • Dress bodies and place them in caskets.
  • Perform special procedures necessary for remains that are to be transported to other states or overseas, or where death was caused by infectious disease.
  • Remove the deceased from place of death and transport to funeral home.
  • Assist with placing caskets in hearses and organize cemetery processions.
  • Direct casket and floral display placement and arrange guest seating.
  • Serve as pallbearers, attend visiting rooms, and provide other assistance to the bereaved.
  • Arrange for transporting the deceased to another state for interment.
  • Perform the duties of funeral directors, including coordinating funeral activities.
  • 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.
  • Attach trocar to pump-tube, start pump, and repeat probing to force embalming fluid into organs.
  • Arrange funeral home equipment and perform general maintenance.
  • Supervise funeral attendants and other funeral home staff.
  • Press diaphragm to evacuate air from lungs.
  • Assist coroners at death scenes or at autopsies, file police reports, and testify at inquests or in court, if employed by a coroner.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Mortician