A funeral director salary can vary greatly depending on many factors. While in some states it is not necessary for funeral directors to have any type of degree to practice their profession, it is recommended that they obtain a degree in mortuary science. Most states require that funeral directors be at least 21 years old and at least serve as an apprentice for one or more years, plus pass an exam before they can legally practice.
Anyone interested in becoming a funeral home director may be interested in obtaining a college degree in mortuary science. Many colleges offer two and four year degrees in the subject. Courses in physiology, pathology, embalming, restoration, and anatomy should be included in both associates and bachelor degree programs.
Once a person has made the decision to become a funeral director, they will need to become licensed by the state that they are practicing in. All states require that a person be licensed by that state before they can become a funeral director. Many of these states require that a person have completed an apprenticeship before they will issue a license. Each state requires that a person pass a state licensing examination before obtaining a license.
Funeral directors need to not only be good business people, they also need to have excellent communication skills and be compassionate and sympathetic. As a funeral director, one will arrange details of a funeral, prepare remains for a funeral, perform ceremonies (depending on the deceased person’s religion), provide spiritual guidance and comfort for those that have lost loved ones, and carry out the disposition of the deceased person or persons. Most funeral directors are also licensed to practice embalming, which is a preservation process of deceased bodies.
Many funeral director jobs are within small, family run funeral homes so the funeral directors salary will depend on the amount of business they get throughout the month or year. Most funeral homes only have one or two funeral directors, so they also serve as the record keeper, bookkeeper, etc. A funeral director salary can also depend on the amount of sales they make each month. Many funeral homes also provide caskets for sale and rent, and will make a profit from these as well.
In larger funeral homes, there is room for advancement and a chance to increase funeral director salaries by becoming home manager, branch manager or even general manager or the funeral home company has more than one funeral home that they run.
With the population of baby boomers reaching old age within the next ten years or so, funeral directors will become more and more in demand. Job growth in the funeral home director industry is expected to grow at above or at the least average rate over the next ten years, especially for those funeral directors who also specialize in embalming. Funeral directors salaries are also expected to raise on average as much as other industries within the next decade.
(*Note from Damen: Most of the discussions done here apply to USA only, but you can still consider this career based on your home country’s situations as many points should be valid in other countries as well. For any questions, feel free to leave your comments here)
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