Funeral Director Schools & Degree Information

Funeral directors organize and manage all aspects of a funeral service, from preparing the body of the deceased for the funeral to guiding surviving family members through the funeral process. Find an affordable funeral director school program below and get started on your career training.

What is a Funeral Director

Funeral directors are employed primarily at funeral homes, which are located virtually everywhere. They are responsible for a number of tasks involved with funerals, including writing obituaries, embalming bodies, arranging burials and more. Funeral directors, also sometimes referred to as undertakers or morticians, help families plan funeral services; they then carry out those services. Most funeral directors are practicing embalmers, which means that they prepare and preserve the body before internment. Common duties of funeral directors include meeting with families, helping families to plan services, embalming and preparing bodies, planning and organizing wakes and memorial services, placing obituary notices in newspapers and handling paperwork.

Funeral Director Career Responsibilities

Funeral directors are there to help families honor deceased family members. They console the families as well as help them develop an atmosphere which matches the desires of the party involved. This job may also require that you contact newspapers so that they can arrange an obituary for the deceased individual. Funeral directors help decorate the chapel, choose a clergy, and arrange the rest of the service as well. It would also be your responsibility to make sure that the body of the deceased is safely transported to a cemetery.

Some funeral directors also help with preserving the body or touching it up so that it is presentable for friends and family members. This process may involve placing artificial body parts and even make-up on the deceased individual. This step is crucial especially if there is a gap larger than twenty-four hours between the death and the burial. To become proficient in this career path, you need to be very comfortable handling the deceased. You should also be comfortable consoling friends and family members of the deceased.

Funeral Director Degree- Education and Training Requirements

To become a funeral director, you need to complete a 2- or 4-year program in mortuary science. Typical courses in such a program include physiology, anatomy, embalming techniques, pathology, restorative art, accounting and client services. All 50 states also require funeral directors to be licensed, which generally requires at least two years of education, one year of apprenticeship and a passing score on a state examination. Because funeral directors interact with the families of the deceased, it's important that they have compassion and empathy. Many funeral directors also own their own businesses, which require strong math, accounting and management skills.

Salary Potential

The U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for funeral directors was predicted to increase 12% from 2012-2022. In May 2012, the BLS noted that funeral directors made an average annual salary of $52,690. The BLS stated that location and type of services provided, such as embalming, can impact job prospects.

Top Funeral Director Schools

  • Lincoln College of New England

    Give your career a boost with training with Lincoln College!

    Programs

    > Funeral Service Management, BS
    > Mortuary Science, AAS