How to Become a Mortician Assistant

Mortician Assistant
Mortician Assistant Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year$56,360
Avg. Pay / hour$27.10
Education1-2 Years
Outlook4%

Mortician Assistants provide support to Morticians and provide end of life services for deceased individuals and their families.

Morticians may also be referred to as Undertakers or Embalmers or Funeral Directors.

These professionals communicated with deceased individuals families and must have a full understanding of a family’s struggle and upmost respect for the dead.

Individuals who want to become a Mortician Assistant will need a combination of education, licensure and personal characteristics and skills in order to enter this profession.

Because these professionals work with deceased bodies, having a passion for the sciences and being comfortable with decomposing bodies are qualities that are highly encouraged.

Education Requirements to Become a Mortician Assistant

Individuals who want to become a Mortician Assistant will need to be trained in mortuary science and hold a license in order to enter this profession.

Licensure requirements vary by state and individuals are encouraged to contact their state for specific qualifications.

Individuals will need a minimum of an Associate’s degree in order to become a Mortician Assistant.

Entering an accredited mortuary science program is recommended in order to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this profession.

Mortuary science programs typically include a variety of classes including in some of the following areas: business law, classes teaching embalming and restorative techniques, funeral service, grief counseling and ethics.

Licensing requirements will depend on individual states, however, those who want to become a Mortician Assistant will typically need a license in order to enter this profession.

In addition, employers also seek individuals who are at least 21 years of age, who have completed a 2 year postsecondary program in mortuary science and have become licensed by passing a state licensing exam.

Mortician Assistant Job Description

Mortician Assistants play a vital role in assisting Morticians for end of life services requested by families and friends of individuals who have recently lost someone.

Morticians Assistants are primarily responsible in assisting morticians with both administrative tasks and preparations of the deceased.

Some of the following tasks: write obituaries, manage mandatory legal documents, ordering and arranging floral arrangements to the specifications asked by the deceased or their families as well as updating website information on their websites regarding the deceased.

Morticians and their assistants will gather information from families to make funeral arrangements more personalized and that captures the deceased individual’s essence.

They will ask for a family’s or an individual’s final wishes and prepare the funeral using that information.

In addition, Mortician Assistants will help Morticians prepare the body for burial including embalming and preparing it for public viewing.

Mortician Assistant Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median annual wage for all funeral service occupations, including a Mortician Assistant, was approximately $51,600.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including level of experience, hours worked and location.

Individuals in funeral occupations can earn $28,100 per year on the low end or earn a salary of up to $94,000 per year on the high end.

Many funeral service workers are employed full time, but because death can sometimes be unpredictable and untimely some weekend, nights and evenings are required.

Some individuals may also work on call in which requires them to be available to work at a moment’s notice.

The job outlook for the funeral service industry as a whole is expected to increase by 12 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is considered as fast as average when compared to other professions and is attributed to the increase of expected deaths in the United States.

This growth is also attributed to the aging baby boomer population who has taken a hands on approach to planning their end of life services.

Mortician Assistants are licensed professionals who assist Morticians in preparing a deceased body for their funerals.

Using their skills in compassion and their respect for the dead, these professionals help in many aspects of the embalming process.

They may work a traditional schedule, or work on call and have the capability to work at a moment’s notice.

This career can be a match for individuals who are comfortable around the deceased and who would like the opportunity to advance to become a Mortician or a Funeral Director.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$56,360
$29K
$37K
$56K
$63K
$83K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$47,340
Arizona$53,240
Arkansas$42,100
California$50,230
Colorado$43,650
Connecticut$65,420
Delaware$79,870
Florida$58,190
Georgia$48,480
Hawaii$53,310
Idaho$60,400
Illinois$62,560
Indiana$62,780
Iowa$55,550
Kansas$55,880
Kentucky$37,220
Louisiana$47,160
Maine$55,040
Maryland$66,480
Massachusetts$70,670
Michigan$56,920
Minnesota$77,460
Mississippi$44,880
Missouri$57,450
Montana$66,250
Nebraska$59,630
Nevada$44,080
New Hampshire$73,920
New Jersey$61,060
New Mexico$44,870
New York$71,030
North Carolina$49,950
North Dakota$68,920
Ohio$61,920
Oklahoma$44,430
Oregon$51,780
Pennsylvania$54,550
South Carolina$51,230
South Dakota$57,160
Tennessee$47,890
Texas$47,170
Utah$56,950
Vermont$51,850
Virginia$56,120
Washington$63,080
West Virginia$53,840
Wisconsin$52,260
Wyoming$48,830
Puerto Rico$19,860

The top earning state in the field is Delaware, where the average salary is $79,870.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Delaware - $79,870
Minnesota - $77,460
New Hampshire - $73,920
New York - $71,030
Massachusetts - $70,670
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Arrangers, OCC Code 39-4031, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mortician assistant?

A mortician assistant is a professional who works alongside a mortician and helps him organize funerals.

The exact tasks a mortician assistant has to fulfill depend on the place of employment.

As a mortician assistant, you will arrange the funeral according to the family’s instructions, help the mortician prepare the remains for the funeral and help with the removal of the deceased’s body.

Mortician assistants usually work full time and they are often on-call with evening and weekend schedules very common.

Mortician assistants need good organization and communication skills, but also time-management skills and compassion.

This job can be stressful because funerals are often planned in 24-72 hours after death so you may have to work on very tight schedules and plan multiple funerals during the same day.

How much does a mortician assistant make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors, was $57,580 as of May 2018.

Salaries in this field vary widely, depending on the specialty, the employer and the worker’s level of experience.

Some earn less than $30,000 while others make more than $85,000 a year.

How much does it cost to become a mortician assistant?

Most funeral service workers need an associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science.

An associate’s degree program will cost you, on average, around $20,000 a year bringing the total for a two-year program to about $40,000; however, tuition costs vary widely depending on the school you choose.

Most employers also require applicants to have some supervised training and to hold a state license.

What is the demand for mortician assistants?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for funeral service workers is expected to increase by 4 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Many baby-boomers prearrange their end-of-life services and funeral workers are needed to assist them during this planning process.

Job prospects will be better for those who are willing to relocate and for those who have a certification from an institution such as The Cremation Association of North America and International Cemetery or the Cremation and Funeral Association.

How long does it take to become a mortician assistant?

Most employers require funeral service workers to be over 21 years of age, to hold an associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science and to have completed some supervised training.

Associate’s degree programs can be completed in 2 years and teach students anatomy, embalming theory, cremation, restorative art, management, and marketing, among other things.

To be eligible for enrollment at a post-secondary program you will need a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.

Licensing requirements vary by state but most states require mortician assistants to be licensed.

Jamie Willis