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Education and Training – Associate’s Degree
Average Salary – $52,000
Job Outlook – Good

Morticians, also known as funeral directors, are people who arrange and oversee funerals. Their job role involves a variety of different aspects. Some of the most common duties for morticians involve making arrangements for the funeral ceremony to take place, preparing the body for burial, and liaising with the family to see what their and the deceased persons wishes are for the funeral.
Some morticians also are qualified to embalm bodies and this can significantly increase potential earnings. Morticians need to be intelligent people who are also sensitive, respectful, and compassionate. Morticians need to have a methodical and organized personality as there is a lot of responsibility that comes with arranging a successful funeral and no detail can be overlooked. Morticians need to have the ability to not let dealing with emotionally devastated people regularly affect them in the long run.

Education and Training Requirements

All morticians need to be fully licensed by the state in which they operate. Morticians need to have completed a year’s apprenticeship as well as some academic study. There are a range of two year associate’s degrees which are accredited and contain all of the academic knowledge that a mortician will need. It is possible to prepare for a career as a mortician at a high school level by taking courses related to science, including chemistry.

Getting the Job

In order to get a mortician’s job an individual will need to have a state mortician’s license, an accredited two year qualification, and a year working as an apprentice mortician. The prospective mortician will also need to demonstrate the needed personality traits conducive to being a successful mortician. These include compassion, patience, the ability to communicate, and excellent organizational skills.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job prospects for morticians are good. There will always be a need for funeral services to be arranged and conducted. The expanding population means that these services are likely to be even more in demand in the future. The fact that the average age of the population is on the rise also suggests morticians will be very much in demand.

Some morticians choose to improve their earnings by opening their own funeral practice and becoming self-employed. This can be a great way to both earn extra money and gain great career satisfaction from building a business based upon a lifetime’s work.

Working Conditions and Environment

Morticians will primarily work at a funeral home. A lot of their time will be spent at funeral services and this involves traveling to the location where a funeral service is taking place. This is often a church or other place of worship. The job role involves liaising with the families of bereaved people. This can be stressful as losing a loved one is an incredibly upsetting experience and people will occasionally take this stress out on the mortician.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for morticians is listed as being $52,000 a year. Morticians who are just starting out may make around $20,000 to $30,000 a year, while experienced morticians with their own practice may make in excess of $90,000 a year. The amount of money earned as a mortician is largely dependent on the amount of funeral services conducted, and whether the mortician is also an embalmer.

Where to Go for More Information

The American Board of Funeral Service Education
3414 Ashland Ave., Ste. G
St. Joseph, Missouri 64506

The National Funeral Directors Association
13625 Bishop’s Dr.
Brookfield, WI 53005

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesLaw and Public Service