Interview with a Funeral Director

Want to know more about becoming a funeral director? Meet Adam Roddis.

Adam Roddis has a unique career, working as a respected funeral director with Dignity Memorial. Through dedication and passion, Adam has navigated this sensitive field for years and knows what it takes to be successful in his role. This career is difficult to say the least, but Adam has found the reward and inspiration as a funeral director - and he’d like to tell you how.



Why did you choose to become a funeral director?

The industry was interesting to me, and so I found a local funeral home that was hiring, I had worked there for two years before having an opportunity to work closely with the Medical Examiners office for another three years.


After that I returned to funeral services with a different funeral home, and was offered a Funeral Director apprenticeship. During my time as an apprentice I was taught the skills required to flourish in this environment. It was then that I realized this was where I felt most comfortable.




Interview with Funeral Director Adam Roddis

Photo Credit: Ashley Brown




What led you to this career?

Honestly, I sort of fell into it. I found that service, compassion based work was the most gratifying.



What kind of formal training or education was required?

I was enrolled in a 2 year apprenticeship course that also required many hours of hands-on work within the funeral home; working with the families, and planning services and assisting with the deceased family members’ care.



What do you most enjoy about your job?

I find the most rewarding part of my job is assisting a family in looking after all aspects of the funeral, while preparing them for estate matters. Also, it is rewarding to see everything come together for them where they have not had to worry about the planning. By doing this, my work allows them to prepare personally and look after family matters without the added stress of all the tasks I handle for them.



What do you least enjoy about your job?

I think the most unpleasant part of this industry is having to help a family that is going through a tragic passing of a loved one, knowing that you can’t help them with what they want most - for this not to have happened at all. This scenario is worsened that much more when a child has passed away.



As a funeral director, what do you find most rewarding about your work? 

The sincere “thank you” at the end of the service, once the family has had the opportunity to say goodbye the way that they deem fit - when they feel that they have honoured their loved ones’ wishes completely.



Are there specific approaches you’ve adopted for navigating this unique work environment?

I feel that in order to serve the public in this industry, one needs to be very flexible, understanding, compassionate and dedicated to service to others before service to self. I feel that this is only one aspect of funeral service, but perhaps one of the more important aspects.





What does your work routine consist of? 

Usually a minimum of forty hours per week. However, sometimes when a family needs you then you need to commit to that family - ensuring that you are there for them. This of course may mean evening, weekend and even holiday hours spent helping a family. My routine is far from rigid in structure, and often means having to give up personal time for funeral service. 



What are some interesting things/experiences you are exposed to during the workday?

Within the field of funeral service there is a need for privacy for every family served. For this reason, all I feel that I can say is that there are many amazing people in the world, each with amazing stories to tell. 



What are some of your memorable moments from entering this field? 

Again, I must answer this with discretion, but the best moments to me are seeing the look on a loved one’s face after the service has concluded with all aspects of the family’s requests being fulfilled completely. The second one is that moment when you have exceeded those families’ expectations.



What are some of the toughest challenges you see as a funeral director?

I wonder if the dedication that is required to funeral service might be a challenge for some, as it does require having to give personal time and sacrifice plans with your own family. Another key challenge is ultimately having the right kind of personality to serve in the funeral service field.



Is there room for advancement in your profession?

Yes, there is room for advancement in this field. Most notably, there are always opportunities for ownership within funeral service.



Have you encountered anything unexpected in this role?

Every day in funeral service, there is an opportunity for the unexpected - as every family served is different. With that, every family will deal with a passing within their family differently: some with anger, some with acceptance and most with uncertainty. 



Looking back, what do you wish you were better prepared for?

I am not certain that you can be fully prepared for this type of role; I feel that with experience comes wisdom, and within funeral service that is certainly one of the better ways to be prepared.



What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to enter this profession?

I think the best advice I can give anyone is to ensure you have the ability to be patient, understanding, willing to serve with compassion and understanding, maintain a high standard of ethics, and you must be honest. Most of all, for anyone interested in funeral service, try to find an environment where one can volunteer in a role associated with the industry.


For example, volunteer at a hospice facility, nursing home, hospital or even at a funeral home. By doing this, you will earn valuable insight to what is expected and what you are exposed to within funeral service. Volunteering allows you to evaluate whether you are able to exceed in this industry.






Funeral Director Career Guide

Did this interview help you learn about what it might be like to work as a funeral director? If you want more details of this career, such as what education you’ll need, and what kind of salary you could earn, read through our Funeral Director Career Guide.


How to Become a Funeral Director: Career Path Guide



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