Embalmers and licensed cosmetologists may work in funeral homes to prepare the hair and makeup of a recently deceased person for burial. Working with dead people on a daily basis requires attention to detail, knowledge of working with the dead, and compassion and empathy for the family members and friends of the deceased. Salaries for hairdressers in the death care services industry and of embalmers are generally not very high, often not exceeding $45,000 in the case of an embalmer and about $25,000 to $30,000 for a hair stylist.
A hair stylist in general earned an average annual salary of $26,510 per year, or $12.74 per hour, as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10th percentile made up to $16,350 per year or $7.86 per hour, and the 25th percentile made up to $18,320 per year or $8.81 per hour. The median annual salary was $22,760 per year or $10.94 per hour. The 75th percentile made up to $30,490 per year or $14.66 per hour. The 90th percentile made at least $41,540 per year or $19.97 per hour.
Funeral Home Hair Stylist
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary of a hair stylist working in the death care services industry was $32,360, and that the hourly average wage was $15.56. The 10th percentile made up to $16,000 per year or $7.69 per hour. The 25th percentile earned up to $17,640 per year or $8.48 per hour. The median annual salary was $25,360 or $12.19 per hour. The 75th percentile made up to $36,420 or $17.51 per hour. The 90th percentile earned at least $68,080 or $32.73 per hour.
Embalmers remove blood from dead bodies and replace it with embalming fluid. They also prepare the body for burial according to law. They may apply cosmetics to faces to give them a lifelike appearance and style the hair of the dead person. While hair styling is not the main part of their jobs, it may be one of their job duties.
The average annual salary of an embalmer as of May 2010 was $44,280, according to the BLS. The average hourly salary was $21.29 and the median hourly wage was $20.91.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics; Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists; May 2010
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Query System: Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists in Death Care Services
- State University; Embalmer Job Description; 2011
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics; Embalmers; May 2010