Hearses are long vehicles used to transport caskets from funeral homes or home viewing sites to cemeteries for burial and often to religious places of worship. At funerals, hearse drivers are the professionals responsible for operating these vehicles.
A hearse driver ensures that a casket is transported to its final resting place with dignity so that mourners need not concern themselves with such issues on a day of sadness.
Hearse drivers usually lead the funeral procession, driving slowly and using flashing lights to ensure that the group of cars will stay together on the journey. Drivers help pallbearers remove the casket from the vehicle and arrange any flowers on the casket as necessary, and after funerals are over, clean the hearse.
Successful hearse drivers have good driving skills in all types of weather and are able to be solemn and composed when others are mourning. A neat and clean appearance is also important.
There are typically no education requirements for hearse drivers, but many employers prefer applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states require hearse drivers to get commercial driver's licenses or a passenger designation on their standard license, which involves passing a written and/or driving test.
In December 2009, the average annual salary for hearse drivers was £21,450, according to Indeed.com.