Why a Funeral Director School?

posted September 30th, 2012 by admin

Mortuary science: Can you dig it? A tired pun aside, the population of people over the age of 65 is projected to grow rapidly in coming decades. Practically speaking, an aging population means an increase in the need for funeral professionals.

Many young people entered the mortuary profession right after World War II. These people are now retiring. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, it is expected that between now and 2018, there will be more retirees from the profession than those entering.

Funeral directors take great pride in their ability to provide services to both the deceased and to the grieving. Funeral practices and rites vary among cultures and religions, but usually share some common elements: transporting the deceased, preparing the remains, a ceremony honoring the dead and filling the spiritual needs of the family, and burial or cremation. Funeral directors must be familiar with many faiths and ethnic groups. He or she must be compassionate and yet professionally removed enough to be of strength and service to the grieving. Although the family and their spiritual advisor usually dictate the form, time and location of a funeral or memorial service, the funeral director works closely with these individuals to help with decisions. Funeral directors prepare obituaries, arrange gravesite and facility preparation, and furnish transportation for the deceased and the family. They also must direct preparation and shipment of remains to other states and across national borders. They handle paperwork such as assisting family members with veterans’ burial benefits and Social Security, and are an information and referral resource for dealing with insurance policies, pensions and bequests.

Most funeral directors also are trained and licensed to practice embalming. Most states require that if more than 24 hours pass between death and burial, the remains must be embalmed or refrigerated. In the embalming process, chemicals replace blood to preserve the body. If a body is disfigured such as in an accident, reconstruction and cosmetic restoration using various materials may be required. Cremation is quickly becoming a popular funeral choice because it can be more convenient and less costly, depending on the wishes of the family. A funeral director may have an on-site crematory or will arrange to have the body transferred to such a facility.

A mortician school prepares the funeral director with coursework in pathology and physiology, anatomy as it relates to embalming and restoration, cremation practices, business management, computer information systems, sociology, psychology, legal, ethical and regulatory subjects, grief counseling, communications, funeral and business law. An apprenticeship must also be completed. The apprenticeship may run from one to three years, depending on state regulations. Served under a licensed and experienced funeral director, the apprenticeship may be served before, during, or after mortuary school. State Board examinations, which vary from state to state, must be completed.

The funeral director has a very necessary and important position in the community. A good mortician school is excellent preparation for this challenging and honorable profession.

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