How to Be a Crematorium Technician

The number of people who choose cremation over traditional burials is on the rise, according to the Cremation Association of North America. CANA reports that cremations made up 14.9 percent of death arrangements in 1985, shooting up to a projected 44.4 percent in 2015. This offers some job security for job hunters seeking crematorium technician positions. True, helping to dispose of people's remains might not strike you as appealing work. However, the job security in crematorium work may lead you to take on this challenge, and to provide the respectful care that people's bodies deserve. In addition to operating and maintaining crematory equipment, these technicians must keep accurate notes and handle a large amount of paperwork with each body.

Earn a high school degree or equivalent. Crematorium technician jobs don't require a college degree, but they usually require you to be a high school graduate.

Take basic business or secretarial courses at a technical school. Although you don't need these courses to qualify, having this education can give you a leg up on the competition. Working in a crematorium requires expert-level paperwork skills, matching the paperwork with the body's identification, taking accurate notes of times and procedures, and labeling the remains correctly. Understanding how to fill out and file paperwork before you begin is a helpful skill.

Apply for a job as a crematorium technician apprentice. Because there's no college or technical school courses specifically for this field, the majority of the training is on the job.

Invest a day in your career by attending a one-day certification program held by the Crematory Association of North America. Before you can be hired on as a full-time crematorium technician who is allowed to work alone in most places, you need to be certified by CANA. This course is designed for those just entering the profession, as well as for experienced technicians. So, you can take the course any time after beginning work at a crematorium.

Set yourself up to get ahead by taking additional CANA certification courses, such as the Senior or Master Operator certifications.

 

About the Author

Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University.