What is a Mortician
A mortician, also known as a funeral director, works with the family and friends of people who have passed away to plan a funeral and burial service. These professionals have very important jobs that require them to help people make plans during a difficult time and find ways to remember a person who has passed away.
Where Morticians Work
Most morticians work in funeral homes. Many times funeral homes are owned and operated by a family, and members of the family inherit the business. However, this is not always the case and if you decide to work as a mortician, you can apply for a job at any funeral home that is hiring.
Some morticians decide to open their own funeral home. If you are entrepreneurial and want to organize and run your own business, this may be a good career path for you. If you decide to open your own funeral home, you will need to fulfill the duties of a mortician and you will need to oversee and manage the business as a whole.
Morticians who run their own funeral homes oversee employees and manage hiring, accounting, advertising and client relations. This is a unique and rewarding career.
Mortician Job Description
Morticians have many different responsibilities. Usually they arrange for things like the preparation and transportation of a body and funeral services. They work with embalmers to make sure a body looks like it did when a person was alive and work with hearse drivers to transport the body to the burial site.
They also work with the family of the deceased person to fill out legal paperwork, select a casket and plan a funeral. Depending on the services offered at the funeral home you work at, you may help families plan a program and order flowers and catering services and you may even speak at funerals.
In a way, mortician directors act as event planners. They help people find ways to honor their loved ones and then help plan dates, times, transportation and amenities for funerals and burial services.
Sometimes morticians do work on very short notice. Funerals are normally planned within a day or two of a death, so morticians must begin planning funerals and meeting with family members very quickly.
Average Mortician Salary
The average salary for a mortician is about $36,000 a year. If you work full time, you will also likely qualify for benefits like health, vision and dental insurance.
Morticians are needed at funeral homes across the country, but Texas and California are known for providing higher, on average, salaries for these professionals.
Morticians who work at organizations that employee more people usually earn a higher salary. For example, those that work at places with one to nine employees generally make between $16,000 and $61,000 a year while those who work at organizations with 10 to 49 employees can earn between $22,000 and $70,000 a year.
As you gain more experience as a mortician, you could also earn a higher salary. When you first begin your career, and have between one and four years of experience, you will most likely earn $22,000 to $45,000 a year. When you have five to nine years of experience, you may earn between $23,000 and $60,000 a year. As you work in the industry more, and have 10 to 19 years of experience, your salary will probably be between $27,000 and $63,000 a year. Once you become a very experienced mortician, with 20 or more years of experience, you could earn $36,000 to $60,000 a year.
How to Become a Mortician
To start a career as a mortician, you will need to earn a degree in mortuary science. You could earn either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Generally, associate’s degree programs are shorter and take less time to complete than bachelor’s degree programs.
A mortuary science degree program will teach you about how to run a funeral home. Morticians need to understand embalming, even though they may not prepare bodies themselves, but instead oversee and manage embalmers.
In a mortuary science degree program you will learn the art and science of body preservation and you’ll learn how to help your clients plan a funeral. You’ll learn about how a funeral home works and how to be successful in your career.
One of these programs may also teach you how to open and manage your own funeral home. If you decide to take this career path, you will need to know how to operate a successful business. As a mortician that owns your own funeral home, you will be responsible for managing things like advertising, hiring, accounting and working with clients.
This job can be very rewarding as you work with people to help them through difficult times. You’ll have the opportunity to help people every day as you help them remember their loved ones.