Mortician Requirements

Being at least 18 years old. Completing an associate degree from an accredited funeral service or mortuary science program, if required. Some states require a bachelor’s degree, and some don’t have any postsecondary degree requirements. Working as an intern or apprentice in your state.

  1. Be at least 21 years old.
  2. Complete an accredited funeral service or mortuary science degree program.
  3. Pass your state’s and/or the national board examination.
  4. Serve an apprenticeship lasting between 1-3 years (depending on your state)

Talking to someone in the field is a good first step to becoming a mortician, also known as a funeral director or “death service” employee. Funeral homes may appear solemn and quiet, but the mortician must deal with the whirlwinds of grief, resentment, and anger that frequently accompany funerals. You can begin obtaining the funeral director training, certification, and experience you’ll need if you’re confident that you can manage the stress.

How To Become A Mortician/Embalmer

Mortician average salary

Follow these steps to obtain the credentials if you’re interested in becoming a certified mortician:

1. Get a degree in mortuary science

Despite some employers’ demands for bachelor’s degrees, most states mandate that morticians possess at least an associate’s degree in mortuary science. Depending on the program, this could take two to four years. You might be able to take a few extra classes and finish your program even faster if you already have a college degree.

Without a degree, there are options for becoming a mortician in some states, but these programs can be restrictive. For instance, depending on state requirements, you might be able to obtain on-the-job mortician training with only a GED, but you wouldn’t be able to obtain an embalmers certification without a college degree. This keeps you from working on your own and can present more difficulties if you move to a state with different regulations.

Embalming, psychology, counseling, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, professional ethics, and mortuary law are among the topics covered in both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in mortuary science. Many programs also offer courses in finance and information technology to prepare students for the commercial and governmental aspects of funeral services. You also complete an internship or a predetermined number of hours of practical training at a funeral home as part of your degree.

2. Learn mortuary skills with an apprenticeship

You must complete one to three years of practical experience, typically through an apprenticeship, in order to become certified as a mortician. Oftentimes, mortuary science college programs can assist in putting you in touch with funeral homes that are interested in hiring apprentices. Depending on your schedule and state requirements, you can complete your apprenticeship while enrolled in college or after you graduate.

As a mortician’s apprentice, you observe your mentor to gain knowledge of how to carry out mortuary tasks, and you then put that knowledge into practice while being closely watched to hone your abilities. Some states have strict guidelines about how many hours must be spent on particular duties, such as embalming or cremation.

3. Earn your mortuary licenses and certifications

After gaining sufficient experience, you must pass a state-required licensing exam to become certified. The Funeral Service National Board Exam, which you take in addition to state exams, is administered by the International Conference of Funeral Examining Boards. You must obtain certification in every state where you wish to practice because different states have different licensing requirements. In addition to your mortician license, the majority of states also demand a separate embalming certification.

Additionally, you can improve your application to become a mortician by passing additional tests and earning additional certifications. Optional certifications you can earn include:

Some states and potential employers may have additional requirements in addition to education, licensing, and apprenticeship. For instance, you might be required to pass a background check with the police, have a current driver’s license, present proof of up-to-date immunizations, and obtain first aid certification.

4. Develop a relevant cover letter and resume

After obtaining the prerequisites, prepare your application materials for a position as a mortician. Your resume needs to highlight the knowledge and abilities you acquired through your internship and apprenticeship. List your credentials prominently, along with any additional business or management abilities you could bring to the funeral home. Your cover letter should demonstrate why you are passionate about being a mortician and how you plan to advance your career since being a mortician also necessitates having the appropriate mindset to deal with death and dying on a daily basis.

5. Apply for positions at funeral homes

Start looking for positions as a mortician at the funeral homes you already know, such as those that oversaw your internship or apprenticeship program. Create a letter of interest to send to nearby funeral homes, and look online for positions to find openings. At a funeral home or morgue, you might also think about taking on administrative or support roles before looking for promotion opportunities once your abilities and enthusiasm have been established.

What does a mortician do?

A mortician, also known as a funeral director, performs funerary services for the deceased in accordance with the wishes of their surviving family and loved ones. They can provide religious and secular services to clients of all backgrounds, personalizing every aspect of the funeral services in accordance with the requests of the clients. Morticians organize every facet of a funeral service, from body preparation to handling legal paperwork, freeing their clients to concentrate on their loss.

Some of the primary duties of a mortician include:

Frequently asked questions about being a mortician

Browse through these frequently asked questions to learn more about the profession before deciding to become a mortician:

How long does it take to become a mortician?

A certified mortician can be obtained in about three years with an associate’s degree and practice in a state that only needs one year of apprenticeship experience. This period of time can be extended by up to seven years by moving to a state with longer apprenticeship requirements or by pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Who should become a mortician?

If you have the right interests and traits, becoming a mortician can be a fulfilling career path. The following personality traits could indicate a propensity for mortuary work:

What skills does a mortician need?

In order to succeed in this line of work, you should develop the following key skills before becoming a mortician:

FAQ

Is it hard to be a mortician?

Morticians, also known as funeral directors, are among the most important people in our society. Even though a funeral director’s job typically entails long hours, challenging situations, and hard work, the right candidates will find the effort to be well worth it.

Do morticians go to medical school?

The average annual salary for morticians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $57,620, or $27. 70​ per hour, as of May 2019. This is significantly more than the $39,810 median annual wage for all occupations.

What is the difference between an embalmer and a mortician?

Unlike a doctor who attends medical school, you will pursue your education as a funeral director at a regular college. Embalming, restorative techniques, ethics, grief counseling, funeral service, and business law are frequently taught in mortuary science courses. Embalming is an education in itself.

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