Undertaker is also known as a funeral director. They handle the necessary funeral arrangements of the deceased person’s family. Managing legal documents, preparing the dead body, arranging transport, organizing memorial services, etc. are the everyday duties of the undertakers.

Undertaker plays the role of support, guidance at a time of sadness, a friend at the time of your beloved one death. When a person died, the undertaker assists the family members to make decisions. They help to fulfill the necessary tasks that need to carry out after we lose one of our beloved ones.

Many undertakers are managing the funeral business. They are undertaking all sorts of business nowadays. Most of the people identify undertaker as the profession of arranging a burial. Most of them are called “funeral director” because people use this word commonly. But the undertakers still appear. The term “Undertaker” has become a euphemism for “Funeral Director” since the 17th century.

History of the Word Undertaker

In sort, the undertaker does mean the man who takes people under the ground. But that is not true. Undertaker does not place the body under the ground. The word undertaker used since the 1400s. The undertaker was used to name the person who undertakes any task that is associated with woodworking.

Before the 1690s, the word undertaker used explicitly to refer the people who are taking care of the deceased.

Undertaker Vs. Mortician Vs. Funeral Director

There is not much difference between these three words. But among them, the term “funeral director” sounds better than the other two.

Funeral director

A funeral director is a person who arranges and manages funerals.


A mortician is a person who prepares a dead person for graving and manages funerals.


Undertaker is the person who takes the risk and management of the business. Another definition of the undertaker is one who prepares the dead bodies for burial and arranges and manages funerals.

So, it depends upon you that which word you want to use. It depends on the specific job of each funeral profession. If the business is inside a large funeral house, then there they work as a team. But in a small area or small business, there are one or two people to control and do the whole job.

Duties of An Undertaker

Undertaker performs the following responsibilities:

  • Discuss with families or friends, arrange funeral details, casket selection, prepare obituary notice.
  • To complete legal documents, the undertaker arranges death certificates or burial permits.
  • Take the preparation and care of the people who have died.
  • Contact with cemeteries to know the schedule of opening and closing of graves.
  • Choose the casket and maintain the display area.
  • Provide information to the funeral service.
  • Provides advice to bereaved families and play a comfort counsel.
  • Carry funeral corteges to burial sites.
  • Arrange for clergy members so that they could perform the necessary services.
  • Complete embalming duties.
  • If necessary, then prepare bodies for shipment.
  • Arrange sites for the crooners, pallbearers, funeral flowers, or clergy.
  • Contacting religious officials and arranging services.
  • Notify the mourner and clergies of the time and venue.
  • Create a funeral detail with family members and develop a funeral program.
  • The clean funeral home and the ground.
  • Answering any type of queries.
  • Undertaker keeps the aspect of financial records and order merchandise.
  • Announce and inform the duties of the pallbearers and honorary groups.
  • Make plans and schedule, arrange burials, and details of floral delivery on time and places.
  • Arrange a promotional event for the growth of the business.
  • Keep balance in a funeral home operation like hiring trainers, keep training, and take attendants of the staff.
  • Participate in many promotional events of the funeral home. That will be helpful for funeral business growth.
  • Carefully wording when talking and posting obituaries. The standard way of wording has sent a consent letter.

Work Environment of Undertaker

About 24000 jobs hold by funeral service managers. Most of them are self-employed. About 36% of them are in death care services. Undertakers or morticians or funeral directors whatever you say, they are holding about 30000 jobs. The largest employers of undertakers are working in death care service. Only 13% of them are self-employed.

They perform their duties in a funeral home or a gravesite. Some families prefer holding them personally or socially. The timing of their work is limited, but the number of work is not limited. They need to complete their job within 24 to 72 hours of death. They have to complete all the formalities within this limited time. Sometimes they need to manage the multiple funeral task at the same time.

There are chances of creating contagious diseases in their body. If they follow the health rules strictly, the work will not be dangerous. They have to work by maintaining a high temperature. They must wear protective clothing to prevent infection.

Qualities of An Undertaker

As a starter of a business and funeral home, an undertaker must have some qualities. They are:

  • Business skill: Since, run a funeral home is a business, so an undertaker should know financial statements. The main target of a company is profit. So, to earn a good profit, an undertaker needs a good understanding of maintaining a business.
  • Empathy: Death of a family member is an emotional and sad incident for a family. An undertaker must have the ability to treat his clients with care and compassion because they lose someone important.
  • Time-management: Time-management is an essential quality of an undertaker.


They have to acquire this skill. Funeral service is such a type of working place where the workers have to handle numerous tasks of multiple customers at a time. To do huge in this short timeframe, time-management skill is a must.

Salary of An Undertaker    

If you have 21 years old, then you can join as an undertaker in any funeral service or start your one. You should also have a valid license.

The average salary of funeral service managers is $79,500. Among them, the highest 10% earn more than $151,000, and the lowest 10% earn less than $42,000. The average salary of morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors is about $52,500. The highest 10% earn more than $89,000, and the lowest 10% earn less than $30,000.

Most funeral service workers have to work full time of the day. They often work on-call. Long workdays are typical in their working day routine. Even they also work on weekends and evenings.

Job Outlook

The working area of undertakers is not blocked in death services and funeral services only. There are several job sides to them. The outlook of the job of undertakers is given below:

  • Advertising and marketing manager.
  • Administrative service manager.
  • Human resource manager.
  • Social workers and so on.


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