How to Become an Embalmer
Embalmers are professionals who work at funeral homes to prepare bodies for funerals. They dress and preserve bodies and apply make up to bodies so they can be displayed in an open casket at a funeral service.
What the Job Entails
Working as an embalmer can be a demanding job, but it is also very rewarding. People with this career usually work at funeral homes, but some also work at medical centers to prepare bodies so students can study them to learn anatomy.
The average salary for an embalmer is about $37,000 a year. If you work full time you will most likely qualify for benefits like health, vision and dental insurance. Embalmers are needed in cities everywhere, so you will most likely have employment opportunities after you graduate.
If you work as an embalmer you will spend most of your time preparing bodies for display. You will use chemicals like embalming fluid and formaldehyde to preserve bodies and you will dress and arrange bodies in natural ways. You will also arrange hair and apply makeup to make a body appear as it did when the person was alive.
Sometimes embalmers meet with the loved ones of a person who has passed away to find out how they can best serve them. Most embalmers work with funeral directors.
How to Become an Embalmer
If you want to pursue this career path, you’ll need to receive the right education and training and be licensed by your state. You’ll also need to gain some experience and network with industry professionals.
Earning Your Degree
To become an embalmer you will need to earn your degree in mortuary science. Some embalmers earn an associate’s degree and others earn a bachelor’s degree. Both of these types of programs will help you prepare for a successful career. Earning a bachelor’s degree may help you qualify for more job opportunities since employers often look for applicants with more education.
A mortuary science degree will teach you all about embalming. You’ll learn about the human body, anatomy and chemistry and biology. You’ll also learn about preservation and how to use embalming chemicals. Embalming is a mix of both science and art, and a good program will teach you how to combine these two subjects to be successful.
When you enroll in a mortuary school, you’ll learn the history of embalming, which dates back to ancient Egyptian times. Knowing how this career began can help you better understand its importance in society and the role you play in helping families memorialize their loved ones. Classes will also teach you how your job fits into the workings of a funeral home and how you can serve clients to your fullest potential.
The classes in this degree program will teach you how to preserve a body and delay decomposition. You’ll learn how to use chemicals and how to store a body so that it will look as natural as possible at a funeral.
Mortuary science classes will teach you how to groom a body. You’ll learn how to wash a body and then how to apply make up.
If you want to work in the medical field, embalming and preparing bodies for study, you’ll learn very similar practices. However, many times cadavers that are studied must be transported great distances, so they must be preserved for longer periods of time. A mortuary science program will also teach you about these procedures.
The Benefits of a Mortuary Science Degree
Earning your mortuary science degree will help you compete in the job market. After you graduate from college and begin your job search employers will look for candidates that are well trained in the field of embalming. Being able to list a degree on your resume is an excellent way to prove that you are qualified for this career.
Sometimes people who have a degree are able to earn more money. Depending on where you work, you may qualify for raises when you earn your mortuary science degree.
Having a degree will help you be more successful in your new career. You’ll have the background knowledge and training necessary to do well in your new job so you can find success in your career path.
Obtaining a State Embalmer License
Most states require embalmers to be licensed. In some cases, you will need to earn your degree before you can obtain a license. Contact the state you want to live and work in to find out what requirements you will need to meet before you can begin working.
Doing an embalming internship is an excellent way to gain some hands-on experience. When you do an internship, you will get the chance to practice the skills you learned in class and find out what it is like to work as an embalmer.
Another valuable benefit of doing an internship is the ability to network with funeral directors and embalmers. These people can offer career and education and advice and may even help you land a job.
The first step to becoming an embalmer is earning your mortuary science degree. If you are interested in this career path, find a college or university that offers this program and enroll today!