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Mortuary Science

Mortuary science is the study of deceased human bodies, particularly with regard to their proper burial and accompanying bereavement processes. Read the following article to see if mortuary science is the career for you.

Inside Mortuary Science

Mortuary science programs prepare students for a career in the funeral industry, most notably as a funeral director. As of 2014, fewer than 60 programs in mortuary science were accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (www.abfse.org).

Education Information

Mortuary science training is typically offered through a 2-year associate's degree program; bachelor's degree programs are also available, though rare. Students may take courses in embalming techniques, accounting, business management, business law, funeral services, anatomy, grief psychology, microbiology, funeral merchandising, thanatochemistry, restorative art, pathology and physiology. In some states, an aspiring funeral director must also complete a 1-3 year apprenticeship program. You can find the information on these programs on Study.com in the following articles:

Licensure Information

Funeral directors must be licensed, a requirement of all states in the U.S. To become licensed, one must be at least 21 and complete 2 years of academic training and an apprenticeship, generally one year in length. The last step is to pass an exam. A mortuary science major may then find work as a funeral director. Many states require funeral directors to take continuing education courses to maintain their licenses. The following link offers more details about licensing requirements:

Career Options

Individuals with a mortuary science degree may find work as a funeral director, mortician or embalmer. Learn more about potential career choices in the following articles.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the number of jobs for funeral service workers to increase 12% from 2012-2022, which may lead to good opportunities to find work in the field. In addition, the median wage for funeral directors, morticians or undertakers was $46,840 in 2012 (www.bls.gov).

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