Mortician Job Description

Morticians, or funeral directors, work at mortuaries or crematories and help people organize and carry out funeral services for their loved ones. They may also manage the funeral home and it’s daily operations and business affairs.

Most funeral homes are small businesses and are often run by families. As a certified mortician, you can apply for a job at one of these businesses, or you can start your own funeral home.

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A Day as a Mortician

If you start a career as a mortician, you will either work at a funeral home or start your own business by opening a funeral home. Communities everywhere need funeral directors, so this career has good job security.

Usually morticians manage the overall business of a funeral home. They meet with clients, hire employees, make business and financial decisions, manage the property and plan funerals.

Sometimes morticians are involved in the more detailed tasks at a funeral home, like dressing bodies, placing bodies in caskets and applying cosmetics to visible parts of the body.

The majority of your time as a mortician will be spent planning and arranging funerals. Most funeral homes have a preparation room, a casket selection room, viewing areas, and a chapel. Your job will be to manage these areas, as well as hearses, flower cars and other business automobiles.

Funeral directors also meet with families to discuss funeral programs and procedures and then help make sure everything is in place before the day of the funeral. You will work with them to understand the type of service they want to have, and then help them as they discover their options and make decisions.

If you own your own funeral home and business, your daily tasks will be much more managerial and administration based. People who run their own business are responsible for managing all the aspects that make it run smoothly: accounting, marketing, client services, hiring, human resources and building management. Depending on the size of your business, you will likely hire employees to take care of these departments, but you’ll be the one to make the big-picture decisions and oversee their work.

Professional Skills of a Mortician

To be a good mortician, you’ll need to attend a mortician school, take the requisite classes for a mortuary science degree, and have the necessary skills to communicate effectively. People with this career must work closely with others to identify and meet their needs. Some funeral directors also speak at funerals, so they need to be comfortable speaking in public.

Morticians are also detail oriented, because they must plan all the details of a funeral. From the schedule to the flowers and from the decorations to the speakers, funeral directors oversee every detail of the service.

If you run your own funeral home, you’ll also need to be skilled in decision making and have an understanding of what makes a business profitable.

Average Mortician Income

Mortician jobs are usually full-time, so you’ll work during the week and may work some weekends and holidays. Employment opportunities for morticians are expected to increase.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly income for morticians is $54,140. You’ll most likely qualify for job benefits like health, vision and dental insurance.

But there are more benefits than insurance and salary for morticians. People with this profession are rewarded on a daily basis as they assist grieving families. People who are planning the funeral of their loved one depend on funeral directors to help them through the process in a gracious and professional way.

As you use your skills to provide services to those who need you, you will go home every day feeling satisfied that you helped make someone’s grieving easier.

Learn more about mortician schools >

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