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A funeral director’s job varies from day to day. However, your primary responsibility is to help people create a meaningful funeral experience, but what that means varies significantly.

What does the job of a funeral director entail?

As a funeral director you will:

  • Meet with families, both before a death occurs and at the time of death.
  • Listen to and spend time with families to help them create a meaningful experience to remember and honor their loved one.
  • Take the family’s loved one into your care and prepare the body according to the family’s wishes.
  • Assist families with arrangements, and then handle the details involved to make the funeral happen, including the burial, entombment or cremation details.

What are the basic requirements to become a funeral director?

Funeral Service education and license vary by state. But basic requirements for most states are:

  • A high school diploma, or the equivalent
  • An associate degree in funeral service education (some states require a bachelor’s)
  • An apprenticeship, which generally lasts from one to two years,
  • Passing the national board examination and/or state licensing examination

I think I might be an asset to funeral service. Where do I begin?

Step 1: Contact your local funeral director.

No one is better equipped to tell you about the challenges and rewards of funeral service than a funeral director. Call your local funeral home and set up a time to talk, and to take a tour of the funeral home.

Step 2: Learn your state’s licensing requirements.

Consider reaching out to your state association to find out what information they have for those interested in pursuing a career in funeral service.

Step 3: Become certified.

If a mortuary science program is located near you, call the director and ask to meet with him or her. Ask questions about the curriculum, perhaps sit in on a class. Talk to the students currently enrolled in the program.  Ask lots of questions and explore as much as you can so that you can make an informed decision.

Your Foundation offers scholarships to help offset the costs associated with earning a degree in mortuary science from ABFSE-accredited schools.

What sort of salary can I expect in funeral service? Is there job growth expected?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth between the years 2012-2022 is predicted to increase by 12%, and in 2012, funeral service professionals earned the following salaries:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Consider taking this short quiz to help you learn if a career in funeral service is right for you.