Job opportunities should be good, particularly for those who also embalm; however, mortuary science graduates may have to relocate to find jobs. Funeral directors are licensed by their State.
Advancement opportunities generally are best in larger funeral homes. Funeral directors also are called morticians or undertakers. Funeral directors arrange the details and handle the logistics of funerals. They interview the family to learn what family members desire with regard to the nature of the funeral, the clergy members or other persons who will officiate, and the final disposition of the remains. Sometimes, the deceased leaves detailed instructions for his or her own funeral Funeral directors also prepare obituary notices and have them placed in newspapers, arrange for pallbearers and clergy, schedule the opening and closing of a grave with a representative of the cemetery, decorate and prepare the sites of all services, and provide transportation for the remains, mourners, and flowers between sites. Most funeral directors also are trained, licensed, and practicing embalmers. Embalming is a sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative process through which the body is prepared for interment. If more than 24 hours elapse between death and interment, State laws usually require that the remains be refrigerated or embalmed. Most funeral homes are small, family-run businesses, and the funeral directors are either owner-operators or employees of the operation. Funeral directors, therefore, are responsible for the success and the profitability of their businesses. Funeral directors are licensed in all States. Licensing laws vary from State to State, but most require applicants to be 21 years old, have 2 years of formal education that includes studies in mortuary science, serve a 1-year apprenticeship, and pass a qualifying examination. After becoming licensed, new funeral directors may join the staff of a funeral home. Funeral directors who embalm must...
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