A mortician prepares the dead for burial, arranges funeral services, and communicates with a family to ensure their wishes are met.
Working as a mortician can be challenging, you will be interacting with people that are facing very difficult period of their life.
Ultimately, you also have the opportunity to carry out someone’s last wishes and also honor their life in a very meaningful way, a responsibility which can bring a sense of job satisfaction.
To become a mortician you will likely need to work out of a funeral home.
The job involves many tasks including communicating with families, arranging the transport of a body, housing it and preparing for a funeral, and also ensuring that the service and burial run smoothly.
Morticians also work within a limited time frame, which can mean work becomes high pressure during busy periods.
Education Requirements to Become a Mortician
The education requirements to become a mortician vary in each state.
While in some places you will only require a high school diploma and will learn on the job, in others you will require a two year associates degree, or a four year bachelors degree.
Even if not required in your state, completing a degree is a good idea.
It will give you a much broader knowledge base, and plenty of skills that you will use in your job.
While at high school and college, it’s a good idea to get some work experience in the industry.
Completing an internship is very valuable, if you get the opportunity.
After you complete your qualification, you will need to complete a two year apprenticeship or traineeship under the guidance of a mortician.
During this time you will learn on the job, and complete your professional training.
Mortician Job Description
If you decide to become a mortician you will provide a range of funeral services for a deceased person and their family.
A family member or hospital will usually contact a mortician, who will then arrange the transport of the body to the funeral home, or often they will pick it up themselves.
An initial meeting is usually help with the family of the deceased person.
The type of ceremony and burial they would like is discussed.
Aspects of the service such as music choice, religious aspects, or other preferences are discussed.
As this is a difficult time for the family, a good deal of tact, patience, and sympathy is required from the mortician.
The mortician will then organize both the funeral and burial service, and will prepare the body for burial as well as any viewings if required.
Mortician Salary and Career Path
Morticians usually start out by working under supervision for the first two years of their career.
Once fully qualified they may work in funeral homes, hospitals, morgues, or for religious organizations.
Some go on to open their own funeral homes.
Employment prospects are good in this field, firstly because of the aging population in many areas, and also because this is not a very competitive field to gain work in.
Some move on to own their own businesses, or work within different vocations of the same field.
Some may become autopsy technicians or morgue assistants.
In many places a mortician must undertake continuing education in order to be able to keep their license to practice.
This requirement varies from state to state.
The median salary for a funeral director is around $60,000 a year.
Those with a college degree will be able to earn more.
If you are interested in owning your own funeral home, you could have the ability to earn a six figure income.
Of course, with this comes the stress and risk of owning your own business.
Working as a mortician may seem like a challenging role from the outside, but those that work in the industry actually find it quite rewarding.
It is an honorable position to be in, both to assist families in their time of need, as well as carrying out the last wishes of deceased.
If you have excellent interpersonal skills, and a sympathetic nature, then this is likely a career in which you will excel.