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.

Hearse drivers have no educational requirements. They typically receive training on the job. These positions require a commercial driver's license.

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 (2014-2024)* 13% (for all taxi drivers and chauffeurs)
Average Salary (2015)* $26,070 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 13% from 2014-2024. 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.

Salary

As of May 2015, the mean wage among all types of taxi drivers and chauffeurs was $26,070. The highest paying areas were reported to be the District of Columbia and New York, with drivers earning an average salary of more than $32,000 a year in each.

In their work transporting bodies for funeral homes, hearse drivers require compassion, interpersonal skills and a Commercial Drivers' License. Taxi drivers and chauffeur earned mean salaries of about $26,000 in 2015. The job growth outlook in this field is faster than average.

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