Morticians have a grave reputation as professionals who are overly curious about death.
It is their job, after all, to deal with people after we die.
Not everyone can do this sort of job, and as a result, it pays to know what you are getting into before you start mortuary college.
Here are the pros and cons of being a mortician to help you decide whether to become educated in funeral science.
Along with high ethical standards, you must also be ready to uphold a great deal of intestinal fortitude.
Find out what else you need to know about before embarking on a career as a mortician.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being a Mortician
- Cons of Being a Mortician
- Pros and Cons of Being a Mortician – Summary Table
- Should You Become a Mortician?
Pros of Being a Mortician
As a mortician, you would be surprised at how social your job really is, but you do have to interact with the living constantly.
In order to receive bodies and to receive grieving loved ones to see those bodies, you are actively engaged with them both.
This results in more social engagement, especially if you become involved in funeral directing.
If you are a people person, this is a good way to meet people of all kinds.
2. Good Wages
The profession of the funeral service worker is quite rewarding, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You can make $54,100 a year on average as a mortician, funeral arranger, or undertaker.
If you are a funeral home manager, you stand to earn even more with a median wage of $74,000 annually.
What is the difference between a mortician and a funeral home manager?
A mortician handles the details of the deceased, including burial and grave ceremonies, as well as obituaries and shipment of the body.
A funeral home manager is in charge of the operations of the funeral home business, such as finances and staffing.
3. Steady Clientele
The funeral business is like the healthcare industry–everyone gets sick sometimes.
You are not going to be short of people to take care of, which means consistent employment.
If you decide to move to another location or state, you will find steady clientele everywhere you go.
That is because funerals are a vital part of our culture, and they offer a safe way to handle a corpse.
Just as garbage pickup and water utilities are part of our staples in society, so are morticians.
4. Opportunity to Learn Professionally
There are many mortuary science colleges and universities that train morticians both in the US and abroad.
Mid-America College of Funeral Service in Indiana is one example of a specialized school specifically for funeral science and morticians.
Educationally, you can earn a certificate, as well as an associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree in mortuary science.
This allows for plenty of professional advancement, so you stay active in learning about funerals.
5. Status of a White Collar Profession
If the status is important to you, then consider what a white-collar profession like a mortician has to bring to your life.
When you have an upstanding career in the community as a local mortician, you get to know people and become a trusted member of society.
This is key to helping form a strong social fabric in communities, and it feels good to be included as one of the groups.
Working as a mortician brings that air of sophistication of being a white-collar worker.
6. Unique Work Experiences
As you sit down to have coffee with a friend, you will always have a strange story to tell when you are a mortician.
Whether you love to tell stories or simply enjoy being around new experiences, your job as a mortician will offer access to both.
Every death will be different and everybody will bring along its own mysterious challenges.
This is what drives most of us to do any job as we get the opportunity to challenge ourselves in the process.
7. Work Independently
Do you like to have your own space when working?
As a mortician, you are generally only controlled by the corpses that come into the morgue.
You are going to want to be prepared to work on your own most of the time–well, by yourself and with a dead body.
Cons of Being a Mortician
1. Emotionally Draining
Are you a person with a huge heart that hates to see someone in pain or hurting?
Well, maybe being a mortician will be too draining on you emotionally.
If you are someone who feels empathy towards everyone you meet, you may become overly attached to each body you work with.
This will be damaging to you emotionally, but also you will burn out in the occupation as a mortician.
2. Potential for Spiritual Possession
If you are someone who believes in spirits and possession, then you might be susceptible to the idea that you, too, are becoming possessed at some point while working as a mortician.
This can lead to some creepy feelings that might scare you away from the job.
Then, again, that feeling could be real, which means you simply want to see a priest.
3. Some Find it a Creepy Profession
As you meet strangers and introduce yourself, the job title of mortician can be off-putting to some people.
They may find it to be a weird profession, or even have qualms due to the nature of their work.
That is to be understood, but it does not make for any less of an awkward exchange of pleasantries.
If you are someone who is easily offended or taken back by others’ opinions, then you might struggle with being a mortician.
4. You Deal With Dead People Daily
When you are working with dead people all day long, it is taxing in a unique way.
You are not able to communicate with the body, even if you want so much to know how they passed on or what happened to them.
Instead, you are there alone with a completely lifeless body that is unable to whisper–hopefully!
This along with the constant reminder of death can be quite draining, especially if you are working with people whom you know and care about in your everyday life.
5. Odd Hours of the Job
There are odd hours for someone who works as a mortician, especially in a small town.
Death happens at all hours after all.
You are the person who is called in to handle the body when it is brought into the morgue.
This has to happen right then in many instances, and you are responsible for managing the process.
If you are a 9 to 5 type personality, then you might struggle with this type of 24-hour on-call job.
6. Smells and Odd Occurrences
Working in a morgue with dead bodies is certain to bring out some interesting odors.
Feel nauseated by weird aromas?
Chemicals and bodily fluids are only the starts.
You also have to deal with the scent of flowers in funeral homes, which can often be even worse than in the morgue room.
If you do not have the ability to smell things, then this is the best job on the planet.
On the other hand, for those who are highly sensitive to odors and even triggered by them causing migraine headaches, this is the worst job possible.
7. Grieving Widows and the Emotionally Estranged
As a mortician, your name will spread around town about who you are, and those who are curious about the afterlife might become more interested in you than you would like.
Then there are the widows and those who are emotionally unstable with regard to the dead.
These individuals might seek you out, especially on social media.
You run the risk of having people want to talk to you just because you work with the dead, which can also be creepy.
Pros and Cons of Being a Mortician – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Mortician||Cons of Being a Mortician|
|1. Social Engagement||1. Emotionally Draining|
|2. Good Wages||2. Potential for Spiritual Possession|
|3. Steady Clientele||3. Some Find it a Creepy Profession|
|4. Opportunity to Learn Professionally||4. You Deal With Dead People Daily|
|5. Status of a White Collar Profession||5. Odd Hours of the Job|
|6. Unique Work Experiences||6. Smells and Odd Occurrences|
|7. Work Independently||7. Grieving Widows and the Emotionally Estranged|
Should You Become a Mortician?
The occupation of a mortician is not to be confused with funeral service director or embalmer.
However, the mortician is skilled in funeral science and is likely involved with these job tasks.
Those who want to become a mortician can look forward to working with the dead and handling funeral-related tasks.
This job is well paying and is considered a white-collar profession.
A mortuary science degree that is available in person is required to be licensed as a mortician.
For individuals who have qualms about death and dead bodies, this is not the right occupation.
But for those who are open to touching dead people and managing the bereaved, a mortician is a great job.
There are always jobs for morticians, even in smaller towns, albeit the competition can be tough.