Mortuary science trains individuals in the study of dead bodies, including preparation for burial. Those who study mortuary science usually pursue one of several career paths, including:
- Funeral Services Manager or Director (also called Mortician or Undertaker)
- Funeral Services Assistant
- Mortuary Scientist
Funeral directors and others in mortuary science professions often communicate with grieving family members. Comforting the loved ones of the deceased, as well as making funeral preparations as stress-free as possible for them, is one of the chief responsibilities of funeral service occupations.
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How to Pursue a Career in Mortuary Science
The right training is essential for a successful career in mortuary science. Funeral services managers in particular are regulated in all 50 states, and require applicants to:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have two years of formal education in mortuary science
- Serve a one-year apprenticeship
- Pass a licensing exam
Additionally, some states require funeral directors to be licensed in embalming. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities may be particularly strong for funeral services managers who also embalm.
Mortuary science programs may last from 2 to 4 years, usually leading to an associate degree, although there are a handful of bachelor's degree programs available. Course work covers areas such as: anatomy and physiology, embalming techniques and restorative arts, business management, client services, funeral service law and psychology and grief counseling.
The BLS predicts average growth for this career, with a median annual salary of $60,390. A well-rounded education can prepare you for a career in mortuary science with confidence, so don't hesitate to begin your training today.