What I Do: I work in a funeral home preparing bodies for burial. When a person dies and the body is brought here, I first wash the body with special soap. Then I take steps to replace the blood with embalming fluid to preserve the body. If the body has been disfigured in an accident or because of illness, I may do reconstructive work as well. Before the funeral, I dress the body in the clothes provided by the family and place it in the casket. I keep careful records on each person whom I prepare for burial.
Best & Hardest Parts of My Job: People sometimes ask me how I can do this kind of work. I admit that it's not always easy, especially when a child dies. But I perform a very important service. I help people to honor the loved ones they have lost. It comforts a grieving family to know that I have done my job well.
How I Got Started: Embalmers must be professionally trained and licensed. I earned a degree in mortuary science at a state university. I took courses in biology, anatomy and physiology, and embalming, among others. I was also required to complete an apprenticeship with a licensed funeral director. The last step was passing the state licensing examinations. Some day I hope to manage my own funeral home.