Crematorium Technician

The work of crematorium technicians is varied.  They can help the grieving process by making sure everything goes to plan.  There is a growing trend for funerals to be more individual in celebrating the life of the deceased through music, readings and visual tributes rather than a more traditional ceremony.  The bereaved may choose to have a jazz band at the crematorium rather than hymns and decide to have the cremated remains scattered at sea rather than in the Gardens of Remembrance.  It is the role of the crematorium technician to oversee that these requests are carried out.

Work Environment
Crematorium technicians spend most of their time indoors, with long periods spent standing up.  Most of the tasks will involve manual handling.  Some outdoorwork may also be required.  The technicians need to be smartly dressed as befits the occasion.

Daily Activities
The work is carried out at crematoria.  Crematorium technicians have many different roles they must perform at each cremation.  They will be responsible for the day to day running of the crematorium and ensure that all cremations are carried out in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements. 

Crematorium Technicians ensure that all services are carried out in accordance with instructions issued by the bereaved and before a service clean and prepare the chapel, prepare and operate music and visual tribute requests on a digital music system in accordance with requests from the bereaved.  They meet the funeral cortege and escort the mourners into and out of the chapel.

Crematorium Technicians also maintain cremators and emission monitoring equipment.  Once the funeral is over, technicians are responsible forthe cremation, ensuring that the identity of the dead person is maintained throughout the process and attending to the storage and disposal of the cremated remains.

Other aspects of the job include record keeping and administrative duties, accompanying visitors to existing memorials and assisting with grounds maintenance. In their daily work they will work as part of a team which will include administrative workers and bring them into contact with cemetery workers, bereavement officers, council registrars, funeral directors, undertakers, hearse drivers, friends and relatives of the deceased, religious officials and so on.

Skills & Interests
All crematoria staff need to:

  • be able to deal sympathetically with grieving people and be discreet and polite;
  • be physically fit;
  • have some knowledge of gardening;
  • have a sense of humour.

Entry Requirements
There are no formal academic requirements forentry, although some reading and writing skills are necessary.  All entrants must be prepared to undergo professional training.

The Crematorium Technicians Training Scheme (run jointly by the Federation of Burial & Cremation Authorities and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management - ICCM) is recognised to BTEC standard and can be worked through at the candidate's own pace via distance learning.  ICCM also runs the Cemetery Operatives Training Scheme.  A City in Guilds qualification in Cemetery and Graveyard Maintenance is also available.  There are also correspondence courses available forthose already working in the profession.

Further Information & Services
British Instituteof   
City and Guilds 
Federation of Burial & Cremation Authorities 
Instituteof Cemeteryand Crematorium Management 
The Cremation Society of Great Britain

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers officeor school careers library.

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