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Cemetery worker Gravedigger

Cemetery workers prepare and maintain graves and memorial sites.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £11,000 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Some employers may ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English.

It'll be useful to have some relevant experience like gardening or using a mechanical mini digger, and you may need a driving licence.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to use (or learn to use) mechanical digging equipment
  • a polite and tactful manner

3. 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

4. Salary

Starter: £11,000 to £17,000

Experienced: £25,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may also need to work at weekends and will be outdoors in all weathers.

This role can be physically demanding. Some aspects of the job may involve the use of heavy machinery and chemicals.

6. 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.

You could also join the Cemetery Operatives Training Scheme.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017