How Do I Become a Mortician?

If you are considering a career where you will be helping people who are dealing with a high stress situation in a calm, caring manner, the question, “How do I become a mortician?” may cross your mind. Morticians, which may also be called funeral directors, are licensed by the state where they work.

A person who is interested in becoming a mortician must be respectful of different spiritual beliefs and religious traditions. This work doesn’t have set office hours, since the services of a mortician may be needed at any time of the day or night, and a certain amount of empathy is needed when dealing with family members of the deceased.

Mortician Job Description

A trained mortician provides support to people who are bereaved and helps to arrange funerals. Part of the job involves arranging for removing the deceased’s body from the place where he or she died and transporting it to the funeral home. The funeral director is also responsible for preparing the deceased’s body for burial.

The funeral director also gathers information about the deceased to file the death certificate and other legal documents. He or she also helps the survivors to file claims for benefits. Part of the job involves offering grief counseling to the survivors, either individually or in a group setting.

Education Required to Become a Mortician

In most parts of the United States, someone who wants to work as a mortician will need to complete an Associate degree in Funeral Service Education. When searching for a school, you will want to make sure that the program you are considering is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (AFBSE).

Students can choose to study on campus or online to complete the program. The curriculum will include courses titles similar to the following:

• Business Law
• Chemistry for Funeral Services
• College Composition
• Elementary Algebra
• Embalming
• Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology
• Fundamentals of College Accounting
• Funeral Service Law and Ethics
• Funeral Service Management
• Funeral Services Counseling
• Human Anatomy for Funeral Services
• Merchandising in the Funeral Service Industry
• Microbiology for Funeral Services
• Pathology
• Psychology of Death and Dying
• Public Speaking
• Restorative Art

Funeral Director Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship which a graduate from a Funeral Service Education program must complete may last for between one and three years. During this time, the apprentice will work in a funeral home under the direct supervision of a licensed mortician. The exact time requirement depends on the state’s training requirements for morticians.

Obtaining a Funeral Director License

Each state administers its own licensing exams for funeral directors. Study materials are available from state regulatory agencies. To become a fully-qualified funeral director, you must pass the exam.

Depending on the state where you are planning to work, you may need to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education annually to retain your license. The answer to the question, “How do I become a mortician?” is that there are several steps involved in preparing for this challenging, but very rewarding career.

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