Hearse Driver: Job Description, Career Outlook and Salary

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a hearse driver. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and licensing to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Driving a hearse may be an ideal job for those who seek a position requiring compassion and exceptional interpersonal skills coupled with automotive knowledge. After completing some on-the-job training and fulfilling commercial licensure requirements, individuals are professionally prepared for a career as a hearse driver.

Required Education None; on-the-job training is common
Other Requirements Commercial Driver's License
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 16% (for all taxi drivers and chauffeurs)
Average Salary (2013)* $25,200 annually (for all taxi drivers and chauffeurs)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hearse Driver Job Description

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes hearse drivers alongside taxi drivers and chauffeurs (www.bls.gov). Hearse drivers transport deceased individuals on behalf of a funeral home. They must be dependable, able to work a flexible schedule, and familiar with the region in which they work. Because they interact with those who have lost loved ones and are in mourning, the job requires specific personal attributes:

  • Patience
  • Courtesy
  • Communication abilities

Licensure Requirements

Hearse drivers must also fulfill the licensure requirements for driving a commercial vehicle. No formal education is necessary, but the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that any person wishing to operate a commercial vehicle must pass both written and driving tests and obtain a Commercial Driver's License (www.fmcsa.dot.gov). Licensees possess relevant automotive knowledge, including driving and reversing skills, pass a vehicle inspection, and know how to recognize and respond to hazardous road conditions. They may need to be trained in first aid and CPR.

Career Outlook

The BLS expected hearse drivers and all other chauffeurs to see faster-than-average job growth of 16% from 2012-2022. However, because much of this expansion is attributed to travel and tourism, it may not apply to hearse drivers specifically. The job of hearse driver doesn't require formal education or a secondary degree; therefore, it is a desirable career among those with only a secondary education and may be competitive between qualified candidates.


As of May 2013, the mean wage among all types of taxi drivers and chauffeurs was $25,200. Those drivers working for individuals and family service companies, such as funeral homes, earned a mean annual salary of $22,650 in May 2013, per the BLS. The highest paying states were reported to be New York and Nevada, with drivers earning an average salary of more than $30,000 a year in each.

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