Embalmers care for the bodies of the deceased and prepare them for burial. They clean and disinfect the body adhering strictly to health and sanitation guidelines. In addition to removing all bodily fluids and blood from the deceased and replacing them with embalming fluid they also reshape the body and apply cosmetics to create a lifelike appearance. In addition they dress the body and place it in the casket. After embalmers complete their duties they record all information in written or electronic form. Embalmers must have knowledge of chemicals and chemical reactions and they must take precautions to minimize their exposure. For a career as an embalmer individuals first need a high school diploma or the equivalent. To prepare for this career at an early age individuals can take science and art courses in high school and do part-time or summer work in a funeral home to get practical experience so they can determine whether this career path is one they want to follow. According to the website www.education.com full-time embalmers must be at least 21 years of age and be licensed by the state in which they work. To become licensed they must enroll in a mortuary science or funeral science program at a vocational school or college which typically takes between nine months and three years. During or following the program aspiring embalmers must be do an apprenticeship for one to three years after which they must take and pass a state board examination in order to become licensed. Embalmers are eligible for a funeral director license as well. The website www.education.com says that the employment prospects are good for this career and the average annual salary is approximately $35000.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $35000
High Salary: $40000
Low Salary: $30000
Tasks: Cleans and disinfects a dead body.
Helps prepare a body for an autopsy.
Works for funeral homes, hospitals, medical schools, and/or morgues
Dresses bodies for burial.
Also Called: Funeral Embalmer
Funeral Supervisor
Embalming Technician
Hospital Embalmer
Additional Resources: http://www.ofwguide.com/profile_item-65/Embalmer.html