Funeral directors, also known as morticians, are professionals that work in funeral homes to help people plan funerals and burial services. Their work is extremely valuable and is needed in cities across the United States.
If you work as a funeral director, you will work with people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. You will help them choose a casket and plan the details of a funeral, including scheduling the day and time, flowers, catering, speakers and the burial.
Funeral Director Job Responsibilities
Funeral directors are responsible for meeting with and working directly with clients. Their job differs depending on the services offered by the funeral home they are employed by, but in general they are in charge of planning funerals.
With this career, you will help people make decisions regarding how they memorialize and remember someone who has passed away. Sometimes funeral directors are asked to speak at funerals.
Some funeral directors manage entire funeral homes. They manage other employees, like embalmers, sales people, customer service representatives, human resources professionals and accountants.
If you decide to open your own funeral home, you will manage the vision and direction of the business. You will probably be responsible for typical funeral director responsibilities, but you will also be expected to lead employees and make business decisions that affect the business and its success.
Where Funeral Directors Work
Most funeral directors work at family-owned funeral homes. They often inherit the family business and then carry on their predecessors’ work. However, with a funeral director degree, you can apply to work at any funeral home that is hiring funeral directors. You may also open your own funeral home where you will work as a funeral director and manage the entire business.
Funeral homes generally consist of office space, casket show rooms, meeting rooms and a chapel. You will spend most of your time working in the funeral home meeting with clients and planning funerals.
Funeral directing is often a full-time job. Sometimes you will be expected to work on short notice and meet tight deadlines. When someone passes away, the body is prepared and the funeral is often planned within 24 to 36 hours. This means your workload will change on a daily basis and you may be asked to plan a funeral in a very short amount of time.
Average Salary for a Funeral Director
If you work full time, you will most likely receive benefits like health, vision and dental insurance from your employer. These benefits are a valuable part of employment and can help you take care of yourself and your family.
Funeral directors who open their own funeral home and run their own business may be able to earn a higher salary. This career path involves work and dedication, but it is rewarding and can pay off in the end with a lucrative salary.
How to Become a Funeral Director
If you are interested in becoming a funeral director you need to earn a degree. Most funeral directors earn an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science. Both of these degree programs will teach you the foundations of this industry and the art, science and business aspects of working as a funeral director.
In general, an associate’s degree will take about two years to earn while a bachelor’s degree will take about four years to earn. Depending on what kind of program you enroll in, it may take you a little more or a little less time.
Funeral director and mortuary science degree programs will include classes in science, funeral services and business. Chemistry and biology are the foundation of embalming, and as a funeral director you will need to understand the science of decomposition and how chemicals can delay the process. You may not be directly involved in embalming bodies, but you will most likely manage embalmers and their work.
When you enroll in a mortician school or program you will also learn about the funeral service industry and what your role as a funeral director will be. You will learn how to offer services to clients and how to be successful in your new career.
Depending on what kind of program you enroll in, you may also be required to take some business classes. These classes will teach you how a funeral home runs as a business and what you can do to help a business be successful. These classes are also important if you decide to open your own funeral home since you will need to know about business strategy and how a business makes money.
Most states also require funeral directors to be licensed. You will need to contact your city or state offices to find out what requirements you will need to meet to obtain a license.
If you want to become a funeral director, the first step to this new career is enrolling in a degree program where you will learn everything you need to know to be successful with this job.