How do I Become a Cemetery Caretaker?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A cemetery caretaker typically cares for the grounds of a cemetery, handling landscaping tasks and general maintenance. In many cases, a person who performs this job also provides security, and some may dig graves as well. In most cases, a person who wants to perform this job won’t need a particular educational credential, though some employers may prefer job candidates who hold at least high school or general educational development (GED) diplomas. Some experience as a property caretaker may prove helpful as well. Additionally, a person who wants to become a cemetery caretaker usually has to be in good general health, have good eyesight and hearing, be able to lift heavy loads and operate machinery, and be capable of following directions.

A cemetery caretaker will usually start off on a lower level and gradually be given more responsibilities around the cemetery.
A cemetery caretaker will usually start off on a lower level and gradually be given more responsibilities around the cemetery.

Often, a person who wants to become a cemetery caretaker won’t need any formal training to perform this job. Many employers provide training to newly hired caretakers. Often, these new hires start off with smaller levels of responsibility and gradually work up to being responsible for more of the care of the cemetery. After a trainee has gotten a good handle on one aspect of the job, an employer may add on new tasks periodically until the employee is capable of handling the cemetery caretaking without direct supervision.

A cemetery caretaker may be in charge of operating the equipment used to lower the casket into the grave.
A cemetery caretaker may be in charge of operating the equipment used to lower the casket into the grave.

Experience is not generally required for this job, but a person who wants to become a cemetery caretaker may boost his chances of getting a job by taking a groundskeeper or property caretaker position. Since the caretaker will likely have to care for the cemetery's grass, bushes, flowers, and trees, some experience with such tasks is usually desired. Experience in a security-related position may prove helpful as well.

A caretaker must have some landscaping experience.
A caretaker must have some landscaping experience.

A person who wants to become a cemetery caretaker will usually have to be in good physical condition and be capable of not only performing physical work, but also operating machinery. He may have to use shovels and wheelbarrows in caring for the grounds as well as to dig graves and move soil. In many cases, tractors may be used to move soil and rock as well. An individual in this field may have to position gravestones and lower caskets into the ground with special lifts, filling in the grave plots when he’s done. For this work, he’ll usually need physical stamina, strength, and the ability to stay alert and follow directions.

Good night vision is also important for a person who wants to become a cemetery caretaker. Since he may have to provide security for the cemetery and keep an eye out for vandals, these senses are important. Additionally, he should be reliable, as he may be charged with opening the cemetery gates and closing them on time.

A cemetery caretaker may tend to flowers on the property.
A cemetery caretaker may tend to flowers on the property.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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