Coffin Maker








What is a Coffin Maker?

The job of a Coffin Maker is to make coffins and caskets.


Youtube clip of an unusual coffin maker from Ghana.

The difference between a coffin and casket is:

  • Coffin:  usually a shaped box that is narrower one end than the other:  6 – 8 sides
  • Casket:  usually a simple box shaped with 4 sides

Coffin Makers may specialise in simple, low cost coffins and caskets while others may make extremely elaborate and expensive ones.  The expensive ones may be covered in carvings, jewels and other decorations and lined with very expensive silks and velvets.

Some Coffin Makers mass produce coffins for funeral homes while others specialise in one-of-a-kind coffins or caskets.

In countries, like Ghana, some of the Coffin Makers have become very famous for the ‘career-inspired’ coffins and caskets. 

These Coffin Makers design fun and sometimes, outrageous pieces that match the dead person’s career. 

For instance:

  • If the person was a taxi driver – their coffin would be shaped like a taxi
  • If the person was a fisherman – their coffin would be shaped like a large fish
  • If the person was a pilot – their coffin would be shaped like giant aeroplane
  • If the person was a chicken farmer – their coffin would be shaped like a big chicken!

Do yourself a favour and Google: Ghanian Coffins – and click on images to see photographs of these coffins!

This is a new market which has not been explored in South Africa.  Maybe a young, South African entrepreneur, who is good with their hands might consider a career as a job-themed Coffin Maker!

What does a Coffin Maker do?

  • discusses requirements with dead person’s family and friends
  • designs the coffin or casket
  • quotes
  • orders the right materials: wood, fabric, screws, glue, paint etc
  • saws, glues, sands, paints the coffin
  • invoices the client
  • works to deadlines

Are you . . . ?

  • good with your hands?
  • passionate about working with wood?
  • a person who was considering becoming a carpenter?
  • creative?
  • compassionate?
  • a people’s person?
  • detail orientated?
  • good with colour?
  • hard worker?
  • deadline driven?

How do I become a Coffin Maker?


Offers courses and manuals on how to make coffins and caskets.

Another way to become a Coffin Maker is to approach a coffin making or funeral company directly.  They may offer in-house training. 

If you start at the bottom of the company and show that you are hard-working and dedicated, the company may send you on a training course for you to become a Coffin Maker or … you may get the chance to work alongside an already trained Coffin Maker as an apprentice.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Upholsterer … or … Carpenter

Is becoming a Coffin Maker the right career choice for me?