Working Capital - Mission Blog

<<Mission Blog Home Posted: 10-30-2019

Halloween can be a fun, but scary time of year. And as you prepare for the ghosts and goblins that might appear on your front step on October 31st it might be a good time to reflect on those careers that deal with those “who have passed on” as we say.

We originally presented this list in 2017, but in the “spirit” of the season, we thought it was a list worth sharing again.

The only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. If you’re not good with numbers that eliminates the latter option. Besides, until immortality is established there will always be opportunities for the following:

First, we will pass on an in-depth analysis of the obvious positions. Funeral Director, Coroner, and Mortician are the careers that first come to mind. But, oh, there are so many others to consider.

Mortuary Make-Up Artist

Your Uncle Morty was not sent to the great beyond before the family had its viewing. And, the body had to be prepped. Enter the Mortuary Make-up artist. This career path can go a couple of ways. Many funeral parlors employ a cosmetologist on staff. However, there is also ample opportunity for freelance work in this field. In general you can expect a salary of around $34,000 a year.

Forensic Entomologist

This is a highly specialized, if somewhat creepy, field of endeavor. Basically, you would be studying maggots and other insects that invade a body. This is not for the faint of heart but someone has to do it. However, the median annual salary is around $200,000.

Grave Digger

Someone has to make the hole and that someone can expect to make about $45,000 a year.

Cremation Technician

They cremate the body and collect the ashes. They also can expect to make about $35,000 annually.

Obituary Writer

Aren’t you amazed when a celebrity passes and there is an in-depth obituary in the next day’s paper (or on line)? Someone has to research and write this. Of course, for every Robin Williams or Monty Hall they also have to make Uncle Morty larger than life. This can pay around $42,000.

Head Stone Artist

This is more of a craft profession but spelling mistakes are definitely a no-no. However, with an estimated 10,000 cemeteries in the United States there is always a need for head stones. Generally, the average engraver will make around $44,000 a year.

Road Kill Cleaner

That dead skunk sitting in the middle of the road and stinking to high Heaven has got to go. And, neither you or I are going to scrape it off the median. Enter the road kill cleaner. This is a career that takes a strong stomach and someone who isn’t faint of heart. However, it can allow you to set your own hours and work outside. Generally, carcass collectors are contractors and can charge local municipalities by the hour or the size of the animal.


One job that people rarely think about in the realm of death is being an attorney.  Many people have estates that need to be managed and wills that must be executed upon their death.  Estate lawyers deal with death on a daily basis and try to make the passing of a loved one easier on the family members who must inherit or handle their finances and estates alone.

Admittedly, seeking a career in death services is not for everyone. The upside to this is that the competition is likely more limited than it is in, say, marketing or retail. And, you don’t have to deal with rude or unhappy customers. What are they going to do – haunt you?

Working Capital, Goodwill mission blog author
This article was written by: Steve Allan

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