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How to Become a Funeral Director in the US

Funeral Director

Funeral directors work in funeral homes helping people to plan and organize funeral services for their dearly departed. They routinely deal with distressed family members who are either extremely particular about their requirements or those who do not even know the first thing about what they need to do. This line of work is difficult and most people would shy away from doing it, but these professionals offer an invaluable and indispensable support.  

What Does a Funeral Director Do?

Some of their specific duties include:

  • Supervise the preparation of the body in readiness for the burial service
  • Consult with family members to find out their wishes about the type of casket, the clothing, where to conduct the service and other details related to interring the deceased.
  • Organize all aspects of the funeral in case the family of the deceased is not in a position to


  • A Bachelor’s degree is not necessary for this profession. However, you can obtain a degree in mortuary science wherein you undertake courses such as funeral services management, chemistry, biology, embalming, anatomy, restorative arts, safety procedures to be observed in funeral homes and other modules related to the funeral process
  • Taking on internship and apprenticeship opportunities gives you exposure to the job and a chance to build your experience in the profession
  • Funeral directors have to be licensed in the states in which they operate. The requirements vary slightly from state to state
  • Funeral directors need to be compassionate, sensitive, emotionally strong and detailed-oriented so that they can help clients during the difficult situation
  • You will also need excellent project-management skills to see the entire process through from start to finish without a hitch. Additional skills are communication and interpersonal skills and a working knowledge of the applicable laws, regulations and practices that apply to funeral services


Funeral directors are well compensated due to the delicate nature of services they provide. Furthermore, the job is rewarding in that you get to help people during difficult times. The per annum salary ranges are:

Entry level



Mid career






Source: Morticiansalary

Work Environment

Funeral directors spend most of their time in the funeral homes overseeing the preparation of the deceased, receiving grieving family members and making arrangements for the burial. However, in the instances that the family of the deceased contracts them to handle all aspects of the burial, then they liaise with other service providers such as car rentals, florists and ministers.

Career Prospects

Death is an incontrovertible part of life, so funeral directors will always have business. Although most funeral homes are family-run enterprises where ownership runs from generation to generation and owners tend to employ from among the family members, there are numerous career opportunities. Between 2010 and 2020, career opportunities for funeral directors were projected to increase by 18%. You can also establish your own funeral home to further enhance your career prospects and create employment opportunities for others

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