German Funeral School Offers Recession-Proof Job Training

The funeral business is probably the only one that hasn’t been affected by the recession, and people are turning to undertaker classes to make sure they find a job in these troubled times.

The Theo Remmertz Academy in Münnerstadt, northern Bavaria, claims it’s the only official funeral school in Europe. It offers a three year training course which teaches future undertakers the secrets of this creepy but profitable business. Students learn everything from how to dig a proper grave, and cement a vault, to how to deal with grieving families and write death notices. Most of the 525 apprentices currently attending the German funeral school have worked in completely different fields before, but the recession pushed them to find a more stable and secure area.

Trainers of the Theo Remmertz Academy admit that funeral skills used to be handed down from father to son, but times have changed, and with more and more people drawn to this recession-proof business, the need for an undertaker school became a business opportunity in itself. Now, groups from as far as China and Russia have contacted the school regarding their methods of training.

In addition to a workshop, where would-be undertakers learn how to build caskets and properly staple the padding, the school also features a “hygiene room” where they practice on people who have given their bodies to science, mastering the art of washing and embalming dead bodies, so they can be preserved for several days. It also has a small chapel equipped with pews and artificial wreaths, where mock funeral services are held.

Students of the funeral academy admit it’s all a bit strange at first, but if you take it one step at a time, you get used to it. Considering Germany is a fast-aging country, where funeral costs vary between €2,000 and €5,000 ($2,700 to $6,900), I guess they feel the benefits outweigh the creepiness.



Photos by AFP via France 24

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