Mortuary school training or funeral director training will prepare you with skills in mortuary science schools, where you will gain classroom instruction and hands-on training in embalming, refrigeration, memorial services and burials. Morbid though it may seem, going to mortuary science school is something that could prove to be worthwhile. Professionals involved in funeral service and mortuary work do not only provide such service as a means to earn income, it is also a form of community service. Not only does a mortician’s job involve the mind, it also involves the heart.
Funeral Service Education and Training
There is a science in doing mortuary work. It is not as simple as it seems. There are a lot of theories to be learned and put into practice. Years of formal studies and actual training are needed to bring about the expertise that is required of working in funeral service. There are not a lot of individuals wanting to go to mortuary school. But, the fact remains that people die everywhere and every time. Thus, there will always be a need for a mortician and a funeral director. As you can imagine, funeral practices and rites vary greatly depending on culture and religion.
To become a funeral director or a mortician, an individual has to go through two years of college education preferably at a mortuary school. Aside from this, they should go through apprenticeship training for at least one year. In most states, passing a qualifying examination is a compulsory requirement to being a funeral director or a mortician. Mortuary science programs.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that an associate degree in mortuary science is the minimum educational requirement that one needs in order to practice. In addition, all funeral directors must be licensed by the state where they work.
High school students who would like to take up mortuary science can prepare for it by taking science classes such as biology and anatomy. This will prepare them for higher anatomy, physiology, and pathology classes in college. Embalming techniques and restorative art are also included into the curriculum of funeral service and mortuary science courses. This list of courses may vary by program but could include mortuary school classes such as:
- Funeral Service Law
- Restorative Art
- Embalming and Disposition Fundamentals
- Funeral Service Management Practicum
- Small Business Management for Mortuary Services
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
Mortuary science programs focus on various aspects including preparing the departed for burial or cremation, grief counseling, and the business management side of running a funeral service. In many cases the degree is offered at the associate of science degree level. Those who intend to go into the business of funeral service would also do well to take up additional classes in business management and public speaking or communications.
Mortician and Funeral Director Careers
Going through mortuary training and getting a degree is a must in most states. National and state board exams are also required before anyone can practice as a mortician or a funeral director. Given as it is not one of the most popular career choices, those who go into the funeral service and mortuary work are usually those who are serious about the career.
Practicing morticians and funeral directors normally end up owning their funeral homes and running the business themselves. Funeral directors, are also referred to as morticians or undertakers, and the job responsibilities include:
- Practice embalming, which is professional process of disinfecting and preserving the deceased body
- Applying makeup and dressing the deceased
- Handling and learning about types, quality, and financing of caskets and burial vaults
- Adhering to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and procedures regarding funeral services
- Understanding different funeral customs
- Counsel those in mourning and the bereaved
This involves some form of licensing and registration with the appropriate state governing body after meeting the requirements of mortuary schools. Their businesses are often subjected to routine inspections for hygiene, environmental safety, and general practice issues.
As rigorous as the task of being a mortician is, it is even more stressful to run the business because of the long hours and the heightened emotions involved. Students who study mortuary science are constantly exposed to such stress and are therefore well prepared to face such a working environment.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of funeral directors is expected to increase by 18% between 2010 and 2020. The BLS also reports that the median annual income for funeral directors in 2008 was $52,140. The middle 50% earned between $38,980 and $69,680. The lowest 10% earned below than $29,910 while the top 10% percent earned over $92,940.
After graduating from mortuary school, an individual who decides to become a mortician can expect a salary range of about a little over $30,000 to a little less than $50,000. There is not much upward movement as to the salary scale of a mortician. The only upward mobility that a mortician can expect is towards becoming a funeral director or an embalmer. And then, of course, running his own funeral home as a business is not a remote option.
Mortuary Science and & Funeral Studies Programs
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Bachelor of Science: Environmental Policy and Management