What is a Funeral director?
Updated: May 13
What is a funeral director? simple question right? wrong.. A funeral director at its core is someone who looks after people and arranges their funeral arrangements on behalf of the family of someone who has passed away. What you may not know is that a funeral director is much more. a funeral director needs a list of skills that may be under-appreciated and occasionally just expected of them. There's no hard and fast rule to what makes a good funeral director but here are what we consider to be the basics of a good director and what we look for in every one of our employees
Does a funeral director do embalming?
A funeral director is not necessarily an embalmer; however, in the industry, there are many embalmers who also provide the service of being a funeral director as well. Embalmers provide a very important and at times vital part of the funeral. There are licensing boards that look over the industry; however, in Australia, the board of funeral directors is less of a governing body and more of an industry standards board and are involved in legislative input. They ensure that the best practices of licensed members and their funeral home are participating in the best possible practices and providing services that are the up to the standards of the association and state. In short, you do not require a license to start directing.
What qualifications do you need to become a funeral director?
A funeral director does not require formal education in Australia nor is there a diploma or certificate that you need to obtain prior to working. To become a director you need to be focused on more than funerals; more than a job; more than a career; you are serving people, year in year out; you must be willing to dedicate yourself to the profession, put in the hours to learn who you are and what you can provide to those whose funeral it is and whose families entrust you with their loved ones. It is more than work.
We ensure that all members of our team from intern to members who have been with us for years are available to complete continuing study and take up all offers for the chance to improve their personal development as well as knowledge of funerals and select information to pressure; after all we are professionals of the funeral industry; and students of life.
It may seem like basic common sense, however, you would be surprised to know that not all funeral directors in this industry are out there giving their best to families and are often more interested in making a dollar than ensuring they take good care of your loved one, and you and your family. So compassion is essential; compassion means more than understanding where people are it's about taking the time to understand and to get to know the person who we are conducting a funeral for. We spend more time with families in their homes and believe a person is more than a job; we treat people the way we hope we and our family would be treated after death. Ensuring that all of the families wishes and needs are attended to before, during and after the funeral.
Another simplistic thing you'd expect all funeral directors to have, we strive to have the best people working for us and when we first arrange a meeting with our prospective funeral directors we make sure that they live their life with empathy, understanding the world around them; counting every new experience they have as a blessing to learn something from a situation that most of them would never believe they would be in. A funeral director has to understand what people are going through and be able to provide the support that is needed around the funeral of a loved one.
Good Work ethics
This is applicable to almost any job; however as a funeral director your work ethic is more than a service, it is the difference between a funeral leaving a family broken or giving the family a funeral that provides closure. Jobs come and go however it is our mission to provide a funeral that is completely individual to the person. Funerals are not all the same, funeral A may be a burial with a chapel service with white doves; funeral B may be a cremation with no service required; Funeral C may be a cremation with a big service, notices in a magazine; a hand book for all guests; it is not a job of least, it's a job of more. Planning is one small part of a funeral. We're called funeral directors for a reason, we need to be flexible; funerals require more than details; they need more from you, you may be required to serve up sandwiches at a wake, or you could be required to read a passage at a funeral. We know our job extends more than just funerals and cremations, we expect a funeral director to be involved in their community; we, after all, provide funerals to the community.
Who would want a non-friendly funeral director? no-one. This does not just count towards people who we are hosting a funeral for, this also counts for those that we work with, other funeral directors, other funeral homes and all other funeral related industries i.e flower supplies. As a funeral director, you are required to be a director however you must be able to take directions as well. Other funeral directors may require help with their jobs from time to time and we are there to help, funerals in our opinion are not about money, they are about those whose funeral it is, and if we can make their funeral any better it is our duty as people and professionals to do so. There are many funeral directors out there; what keeps us the best is that we are willing to help and provide the best for all people no matter with who. We at times have to go into a person house, sometime the house where a person has died, no other career will give you the education to deal with death, it's a certain state that you have to prepare for. each home is different and will provide a different state of mind for each one you walk into. after all; no two homes are the same, even more so in the funeral industry, every funeral home is different.