At Peace: How Does the Funeral Industry Operate

Are you interested in the funeral home industry? Or perhaps you are curious about how things work behind the curtain? There are over 18,000 funeral homes in the United States with 89% owned and run by families.

So how does the death industry operate? Funeral homes and their directors are an important part of the process when our loved ones die. They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Do you want to know the secrets of the funeral industry? Read on to learn what happens behind the scenes in a funeral home.

Positions Within the Funeral Industry

Along with the funeral director (or mortician), there are various other positions within the funeral industry. The funeral director will oversee the funeral arrangements and work alongside the other members of the funeral home to take care of the deceased. Some funeral directors are experienced in various other elements of funeral care such as embalming and funeral arranging. 

The funeral director is responsible for sourcing funeral home supplies and may improve their profits with wholesale headstones and coffins. The undertaker may assist with graveyard supplies and other small tasks to ease the workload of the funeral director. Other positions within the funeral home include:

  • Funeral arranger
  • Embalmer
  • Undertaker
  • Funeral attendant

Supporting roles within the funeral home may also include florists, bookkeepers, and catering managers. Dealing with people who have lost loved ones requires compassion and empathy as it is a sensitive environment to work in. 

How Does a Funeral Home Operate?

The death industry operates via thousands of companies and organizations that provide funeral services to the public. The funeral industry is largely made up of family-run businesses that provide a personal touch to their services. Many families live and work in the same building where their business operates from. 

Collect the Deceased

The deceased are often collected in an unmarked vehicle or minivan to avoid drawing attention to the fact that someone has died. The body is collected from home or hospital and taken to the funeral home. A human body will begin to decompose straight after death and must go to the funeral parlor as soon as possible.

Prepare the Body

The funeral parlor embalms the body ready for viewing. If the person was in an accident then there may also be an autopsy. They are then placed in a refrigerated area until the funeral service takes place. 

Arrange the Funeral

The funeral director and funeral arranger will liaise with the deceased person's family to discuss their wishes for the funeral ceremony. This will involve transportation, floral arrangements, and whether the person has a burial or cremation. At this point, coffin and headstone sales are an important focus alongside supporting the bereaved family. 

The average cost of a funeral is between $7,640 and $9,135. Many people pay off their funerals during their lifetime so that their families don't have to carry the financial burden. The funeral director will work with the deceased's families to discuss payment options if they have a large bill.

Discover More About the Funeral Industry

The funeral industry is more complex than one might imagine. The complex process of collecting a body and performing the funeral is time-consuming and detailed. People who work within the funeral industry certainly deserve more appreciation for the work they do behind the curtain.

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