The embalmer usually works in a funeral home, morgue or crematory. Work is done under surgical conditions in a preparation area or casket. Specific health and safety regulations must be followed. Some heavy lifting is involved. The profession tends to be more common in larger urban centers, as small towns often do not have the necessary facilities or the tradition of embalming.
In large funeral homes the work tends to follow normal office hours, although some evening work may be involved. In small or family-run establishments, work hours can be variable. If the embalmer is also the funeral director, he or she may be on-call and work extended hours, evenings, and weekends. Most of the time embalming and preparation for funeral needs to be completed quickly, within 24 to 72 hours after death, and bodies may need to be retrieved and prepared at all hours of the day or night.
Although the mood of the workplace is generally quiet and somber, the work can be very stressful and emotionally taxing.