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Career Overview for those Interested in Becoming a Funeral Service Officer

Career News April 28, 2016

Funeral service is a career path that has been growing at a fast rate within the past few years. The job requires a noble heart and an interest in seeing that families hold dignified funeral services to their deceased. Continue reading to learn the education qualification details of a funeral service officer, the work duties as well as their salaries and job growth rate.

Essential Details for Funeral Service Officers

Funeral directors assist bereaved families cope emotionally, help them in filling death certificates, and most importantly, in preparing funeral services for the deceased. Since their work generally revolves around matters of deceased, rarely can you find funeral directors working in other sectors of life. This profession requires a significant amount of training all the same. Students often enroll for 2-year associate’s degree programs in mortuary science. In addition, a license and sometimes apprenticeship are necessary requirements for you to join this profession.

Careers Funeral Director
Education qualification Associate’s degree
Additional requirements License and apprenticeship, in some cases
Estimated job growth rate 5%
Average salary in 2015 $53,390

Career Information for Funeral Service Officers

While undertaking training, students learn about physiology, anatomy, grief science and pathology. Knowledge acquired in these subjects usually leads to careers as undertakers, morticians, funeral directors and embalmers. Both the morticians and funeral directors are responsible for arranging funeral service events. They arrange the preparation and transportation of bodies for the funeral services, work alongside family members to determine the details of the service, arrange for flowers, invite clergy leaders as well as submit obituaries to local dailies.

At times, funeral directors help the family of the bereaved prepare insurance papers, social security and obtain death certificates. They may also do embalming of the bodies depending on their training. Embalming is a preservation method for the body. Embalming is done mostly if the body will be buried more than 24 hours after death. There are also specially trained embalmers as we had earlier mentioned. They cosmetically restore the body for viewing by family members. The embalming process may involve the use of make up, proper dressing and other techniques. On the other hand, funeral attendants work alongside funeral directors in the preparation and conduction of funeral services. They help in driving vehicles, assist mourners with various duties as well as help arrange flowers to be used during the funeral service.

Requirements to Become a Funeral Service Officer

Generally, funeral directors require a 2-year associate’s degree in mortuary sciences, an operating license as well as completion of an apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship is however not compulsory in all states. Students with background education in accounting, legal issues related to funeral services and business management can easily secure office jobs in funeral homes.

Note, licenses for funeral directors are mandatory and only acquired after passing a national exam. Finally, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a five percent rise in jobs for funeral directors in the coming years. On the other hand, an average funeral director earned an estimated $53,390 in 2015.

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