Funeral Service Operative
The Co-operative Funeralcare

Funeral Service Operative
The Co-operative Funeralcare

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Andrew M

00:00:03 My name is Andrew M. I work for The Co-operative Funeralcare and my job is a Funeral Service Operative. The funeral service operative’s job is to take care of all the vehicles, make sure that they’re clean and ready for the funeral on the day. Flowers have to be placed to the client’s wishes, make sure that they’re all in order, placed on the coffin and then we put the coffin in the hearse.

00:00:35 At school, I never done any further education, but all the subjects that I’d done at school, I always thought I’d done quite well in them as in maths, English, spelling. Further education, when I was at school it wasn’t a thing that was the norm then as it is nowadays. I wished that I would’ve had them opportunities, but then again the things that I took from school as in I get back to again always doing my best.

00:01:10 The jobs that I’ve had I’ve enjoyed them, because I’ve worked hard at it. With no qualifications I came to a place called Barrow-in-Furness which is a shipbuilding town and I applied for a job in a shipbuilding yard, and I worked in the ship yard for a few years working with the pipefitters.

00:01:35 From the shipbuilding, I finished in the shipbuilding and I got my driving licence and I thought it was time to get out and see a bit of the world, so I got a job that involved driving. It was with a national company, a breakdown tyre company and left there to get a better job for a pharmaceutical company.

00:02:00 I worked for them for 18 years. I liked the job, it was great, worked in teams, great set of lads. Unfortunately, things weren’t going too well at the factory so they were making people redundant, which I volunteered for.

00:02:26 Personally it didn’t affect me very much when I was made redundant because I always know that out there, there is work available. If you look hard enough, you’ll always find something and that proved to be the point when a vacancy come up for funeral care which initially I wasn’t going to apply for, but the wife’s always pushing behind me and I applied for that and this is where I am today. Best job that I’ve had.

00:03:05 Well the biggest influence in my life and my career has always been my wife. She’s always pushed me to do the best that I can and she’s always supported me, been a real help and always been there 100% for me.

00:03:27 I’ve been doing this for three years. The company have given permission to the manager at the branch to start training me up as a funeral director, which I’m really enjoying. It’s opened up new avenues. I make more contact with our clients. Hopefully, I’m looking towards being a funeral director within the next two years. Hopefully within the next five years, I may get a position as a branch manager.

Andrew M is a Funeral Service Operative for The Co-operative Funeralcare. He's had a lot of jobs and he's always worked hard and enjoyed them, but this is the first chance he's had to move up the ladder. He's now being trained as a funeral director.

More information about Undertakers, mortuary and crematorium assistants

Check out 7 videos about this career

Data powered by LMI For All
average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

83%  male  17%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment?


Undertakers, mortuary and crematorium assistants make funeral arrangements for clients, prepare the deceased for burial or cremation, and supervise and assist the proceedings of funerals.


There are no formal academic requirements although some employers require candidates to possess GCSEs/S grades. A full driving licence is often required. Training is provided on-the-job. Professional qualifications in funeral directing and embalming are available.


  • Collects body of deceased and assists with the completion of necessary documents;
  • Interviews relative or representative of the deceased to discuss preparations for funeral;
  • Liaises with cemetery or crematorium authorities on behalf of client;
  • Washes and injects body with sterilising fluid to prevent deterioration prior to funeral, and applies cosmetics, wax and other materials to restore normal appearance;
  • Provides hearse and funeral cars and leads funeral procession;
  • Controls the operations of crematoriums and cemeteries and processes legal documentation.
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