How To Get Into the Funeral Business

posted September 15th, 2012 by admin

The economy may rise and fall, but people will always require the services of a funeral home to provide the final rituals of death. Getting into the funeral business can be a steady way of making a living, but it requires specialized knowledge, an empathic personality and dedication to the work.

Aptitudes
Anyone interested in working in the funeral industry should have an accessible and understanding personality that is able to engage with people at the most difficult time of their lives. The candidate must be comfortable working with dead bodies and engaging in the techniques for embalming and preparing the body for presentation. 

The funeral business often requires directors to be on duty 24 hours a day to receive bodies, so an ability to work any types of hours is important to this position.

Education
Mortuary science generally involved a 2-year, associate degree program. Coursework covers a number of academic subjects, including chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, embalming, sociology, psychology, business law and management. In addition, a practicum period working is a funeral home is required. Online courses to become a funeral director are also available at some schools, such as the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in Houston, Texas. An online funeral director school may not prepare student to take the national or state board exams.

Licensing Requirements
Each state has its own requirements for licensing of funeral directors. Students should research the requirements in the state in which they intend to practice.

Internship
After graduation from an accredited mortuary science program, students generally do an internship at a funeral home to gain practical experience on the job. This is often followed by employment at the business, or the student can then seek out employment in other areas of the country.

Salaries
The median salary for funeral directors in 2010 is $54,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who own their own funeral business can make considerably more per year. Salaries can vary somewhat from region to region in the United States.

Employment Prospects
The job prospects for funeral directors are expected to grow 18 percent in the next ten years. Those who are willing to relocate to other areas of the country are likely to have the best job prospects in this field.

Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service · 415 Barren Springs Drive · Houston, Texas 77090 · www.commonwealth.edu