Mortuary Science
Funeral Director/Embalmer

Overview Preparation Resources blank graphic
Career photo
Salary: $29,620 - $51,217
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Hourly: $15.59 - $30.45
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Outlook: 3 Stars
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Length of Training: 3 years
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Career Explorer
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Roadmap
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line

Individuals in funeral service careers provide advice and counseling, legal documentation, assistance with administrative tasks and the logistical management of human remains. Funeral service professionals provide counsel and advice to people prior to death as well as during and after bereavement. They must be knowledgeable of laws and customs, and sensitive to the practices of the individuals and communities with whom they work. Although this field may not appeal to everyone, those who choose to practice in this field provide a valuable service to family and friends of the deceased.

Work Environment
Funeral service personnel may be self- employed or employed by funeral businesses, the military, hospitals, educational institutions or professional associations. Because death can occur at any time, working hours vary and can be long. Funeral directors become involved with families almost immediately after a death. They have many responsibilities including picking up the body of the deceased and taking it to the mortuary, interviewing the family to determine their desires, and preparing the body for burial or cremation and handling all aspects of the service. They also prepare obituary notices and have them placed in the newspaper and direct any transfer of the remains for out-of-state burial. Funeral directors who are self-employed are knowledgeable of accounting and business practices.

Areas of Specialization
Individuals may be licensed as funeral directors, embalmers or both. Funeral directors deal with funeral service management, burial preparation – except for embalming – and disposition of human bodies. Embalmers disinfect and preserve the body for the interment.