Mortician Career Overview
Morticians, also known as funeral directors, handle the fine details and inner workings of funeral services. This might include offering support to grieving families, arranging for the removal of the deceased, preparing the deceased's body for the funeral (often through embalming techniques), and dealing with legal documents following someone's death (obituaries, death certificates, etc). Funeral homes are typically open seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day so morticians often work odd hours through their shifts. Becoming a mortician online is somewhat easy, though there are in-person elements. The table below includes general information for mortician careers.
|Required Skills||Time management, business ethics, empathy, and compassion|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$52,650 per year|
Source: *U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps to Becoming a Mortician
To become a mortician, getting an associate's degree in funeral services or mortuary sciences is a typical path. In combination with online coursework, some programs may require additional lab and training to be completed in-person at a designated campus. After meeting all of the education and apprenticeship requirements, you may qualify to take the state or national exams to receive licensure within your state.
Step 1. Obtain an Associate's Degree
Your first step towards becoming a mortician will be to obtain an associate's degree through an accredited program in either funeral services or mortuary sciences. There are several online programs that are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), most of which can be completed within two years. While these can primarily be completed online, most programs will still require certain hands-on training and labs to be in-person. Courses may include general mortuary sciences, funeral service practices, and human anatomy.
Step 2. Complete Training/Apprenticeship
Upon graduating from a funeral services or mortuary sciences program, you will need to complete training under the supervision of a licensed funeral director. To speed up the process, you may complete this step while attending school, though that is not required. This apprenticeship may take one to three years, depending on where you work. Local funeral homes often have apprenticeship programs.
Step 3. Licensure Preparation
After you have completed the appropriate amount of supervised training, you will need to obtain licensure in the state that you want to practice in. Several online resources are available that may help better prepare you for state/national exams. Sample exam questions and study guides may be found online at The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, a non-profit that promotes standards for the funeral industry. Similarly, you may also be able to purchase practice exams to take online.
Step 4. Receive Licensure
There are several exams you may take, including the National Board Exam (NBE), the State Board Exam (SBE), and the State Laws Exam (LRR). Each exam will need to be taken at a test center of your choice. Keep in mind that the licensing requirements may vary from state to state. Some states may require a combination of exams and may have different fee requirements. Likewise, your license will be subject to renewal annually or bi-annually, depending on your state of practice.