Tombstone Carver

Commemorate the names and dates of the deceased on grave markers.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$19,000 – $44,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Tombstone Carvers do?

Walk through any cemetery and you will see rows of neatly delineated gravesites, each marked with some sort of headstone. Materials and styles vary from wooden crosses to intricate marble pillars, but each one typically identifies the name, years of birth and death, and often a saying, quote, or ornate design.

A Tombstone Carver is the person chosen to carve the design that will forever mark the final resting place of beloved soldiers, parents, siblings, children, grandparents, and friends. When a customer comes to you, a Tombstone Carver, it is often during a time of grieving, so you need to show sensitivity as you help them create the phrase, layout, and artwork for the headstone.

With a design in hand, you imprint the lines onto the marble, stone, or other material. Beginning with mallets, chisels, drills, and pneumatic tools, you etch out the rough outline of the image and lettering. Through a series of steps and tool changes, you eventually smooth out each curve, creating a work of art that represents your creativity, craftsmanship, and precision.

Although you use your understanding of stone-working tools and your ability to operate a sandblaster, people skills and creativity are two equally important skills for any Tombstone Carver. You’re creating a one-of-a-kind work of art. If the customer isn’t satisfied, then your hours of hard work are spent in vain. But when you listen, effectively communicate your ideas, take care with the details, and keep the customer in mind, your work will exist for generations of family members, Historians, and Genealogists to enjoy.

Should I be a Tombstone Carver?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become a Tombstone Carver

    Most Tombstone Carvers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9iaaaa&chl=no+college+%2888%25%29|certificate+%2812%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,88,88
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