Cemetery workers prepare and maintain graves and memorial sites.
Salary range: £18,000 to £25,000
How to become a cemetery worker
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could work towards this role by doing an intermediate apprenticeship for horticulture and landscape operatives.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You can apply directly for a job as a cemetery worker, if you’ve got some of the relevant skills needed for this role.
You don’t need any particular qualifications, although some employers may ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English.
You’ll need to be able to deal sensitively with bereaved people. It can also be useful if you have experience in landscaping, gardening or use of a mechanical mini digger
Once you’re working, your employer will arrange for you to follow the Cemetery Operatives Training Scheme.
You can find more details about working and training in cemetery work through the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to operate and control equipment
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- the ability to work well with your hands
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You may need a driving licence.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- measuring and marking out grave spaces
- using a mechanical excavator and hand tools to dig and prepare graves
- keeping graves tidy
- checking headstones for damage and removing those that are unsafe
- maintaining lawns, verges and plants around the cemetery
- working with other funeral and cemetery staff
You could work at a cemetery.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress to being a supervisor. If your job involves clerical duties, you could train for progression into cemetery administration.