How do You Become a Mortician?

Deciding on a career as a funeral director is an interesting choice, but it also begs the question: how do you become a mortician? Because the field deals with the aftermath of death, like handling bodies for a funeral and helping families plan ceremonies, it is a career that requires compassion, education, and respect for those who have passed on. Let’s take a look at what the requirements are for entering this profession.

Get a Degree

Becoming a mortician is a science. Because of the interdisciplinary aspects of the job, which entails preparing a body, speaking with family members about funeral arrangements, dealing with the business details of death and more, this profession does require some sort of education. Many schools offer associate and bachelor’s degrees in mortuary science, which is the study of death, and many of them are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, the leading accrediting body for the field. Coursework for this degree often covers mortuary law, funeral service psychology and counseling, anatomy, business, and more, ensuring that you are educated in all areas of mortuary science.

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Complete an Internship

Education alone isn’t enough to make it in this profession; you’re going to need to have a few years of experience in the form of an internship or an apprenticeship; it’s required by the ABFSE. This experience can happen before or after getting your degree, but it is required in order to get licensed as a mortician. The internship must be done under the supervision of a licensed funeral director and is most often completed after you get your degree and become licensed, although some states will allow you to complete it before or during your college education.

Become Licensed

Becoming a mortician means getting licensed as a funeral director. There is a national licensing exam that all students must complete; some states also require state licensure, so make sure that you know the requirements for the state you would like to practice in. Regardless of whether or not you need the state exam, you will be required to receive a passing grade on all subjects, including embalming, in order to receive licensure. It’s also possible to get an endorsement as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, which will help you stand out among other morticians.

Maintain Licensure

In order to become a mortician, you need to be licensed; in order to stay a mortician, you must stay licensed. In order to do this, you’ll be required by national, and sometimes state, law to take continuing education courses on subjects relating to the field of funeral services. The ABFSE monitors those who take continuing education and those who do not, and you will be at risk of losing your license if you don’t participate in courses throughout your career. Most of these courses can be completed online and focus on funeral law and trends in the industry while on-site courses can provide you with hands-on experience in new technologies.

Morticians are an important part of accepting death for those who have lost a loved one; it’s an incredibly demanding career that needs people like you. Asking how to become a mortician is the first step in a fulfilling career giving closure to those around you who desperately need it.