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Crematory Operator

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What They Do

Crematory Operators Career Video

About This Career

Operates crematory equipment to reduce human or animal remains to bone fragments in accordance with state and local regulations. Duties may include preparing the body for cremation and performing general maintenance on crematory equipment. May use traditional flame-based cremation, calcination, or alkaline hydrolysis.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Personal Care Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Cleans the crematorium, including tables, floors, and equipment.
  • Documents divided remains to ensure parts are not misplaced.
  • Embalms, dresses, or otherwise prepares the deceased for viewing.
  • Explains the cremation process to family or friends of the deceased.
  • Offers counsel and comfort to bereaved families or friends.
  • Picks up and handles human or pet remains in a respectful manner.
  • Places corpses into crematory machines to reduce remains to bone fragments using flame, heat, or alkaline hydrolysis.
  • Pulverizes remaining bone fragments into smaller pieces, using specialized equipment, such as a cremulator or grinder.
  • Reads documentation to confirm the identity of the deceased.
  • Removes jewelry, watches, or other personal items from the deceased prior to cremation.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


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