Becoming a mortician may seem like an odd career choice for most, but it can be both a lucrative one and a highly thoughtful one. After all, the services of a good and mindful mortician are among the few things which can bring some amount of comfort to grieving people who have just lost a loved one. In this overview of the top mortician school options, we will provide you with the best suggestions for where you can obtain a mortuary science degree, along with info about costs, admissions and so on.
First of all, let’s see what you can expect from a mortician school and the career path a mortuary science degree can open for you. According to the BLS (Bureau for Labor Statistics), the median pay for all funeral service workers was $53,390 per year and $25.67 per hour in 2015. Out of all these workers, a funeral service manager made a median salary of $70,890 per year, while a regular mortician made a median salary of $48,490. In both these cases, this is faster than the average for all other occupations ($36,200 for the same time period). As for the work schedule of morticians, most of them work full time, and long hours (even long nights) and being on call for emergencies are a common reality. But all this hard work pays off in the rewards and the good career prospects of mortuary workers, which can be accessed via graduating from a good mortician school.
In order to become a mortician, you need to fulfill the following conditions: be at least 21 years old, graduate from an associate’s degree in mortuary science from one of the top mortician schools available, and then also pass a state certification to be able to practice your trade. Obtaining the degree usually takes 2 or 4 years, with further training being available afterwards. The 2 year programs are associate’s degrees, while the 4 year ones are bachelor degrees. Passing the state certification exam doesn’t really require an extra training time, just the paperwork and waiting times for registering, submitting further papers, and waiting for official results and so on. You should also be aware that if you want to change your location at some point (move out of state) you may be required to take the local version of exam all over again. All this being said, without further ado, here are the top 10 mortician school options to consider.
The Top 10 Mortician Schools in the U.S.
There are currently about 60 accredited programs in mortuary science in the United States. A properly recognized mortician school must be accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education in order to be guaranteed to allow you to work as a mortician after graduating from it. If you’re looking for a good mortician school to enroll in, these are the top 10 options to consider, based on ratings and the size of their mortuary science programs.
This private, non-profit school is one of the most popular mortician schools in the country, offering a 12 month associate’s program and a 16 month bachelor program. It was founded in 1882, and it is today one of the most modern colleges where you can study mortuary science. Its many lab facilities and hands-on approach to teaching contribute to its growing popularity in the niche. The costs for the education programs are $17,625 for the associate degree and $23,250 for the bachelor program, and you can find out more about their admissions procedure here.
Another college with a vast history in the field (it was founded in 1911), the Worsham College offers two programs (associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree). Both training programs require 12 months to complete, have more or less the same curricula, and the tuition is $20,700, but the bachelor’s degree is more demanding. Admissions are taken in March and September, and you can find out more about the procedure here.
A cheaper alternative to some of the other programs in mortuary science, the Dallas Institute offers an associate’s degree program for only $12,000. The students then have the option to continue their training towards a bachelor’s degree via the Ottawa University, in an online form. Therefore, if you were looking for a mortician school online, you should perhaps consider this option as well, even if it’s not entirely online. Find out about their admissions here.
4. American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service
If you’re looking for a completely online program (although we wouldn’t personally recommend it, since practical experience is important in any mortician school), then this next option might be best for you. In the defense of this school, its rate of academic achievement in mortuary science is truly impressive: it has a pass rate of 97% for the National Board Exam. This means that all graduates can be expected to be more than apt in their field of activity, so if you’re wondering if you can really trust an online school with your education, this high pass rate should help put your mind at ease. If you decide to attend the courses though, you should know that the school is located in NYC.
This school is located in Houston, TX and offered 2 types of programs in mortuary science: an associate’s degree and a certificate in funeral directing. The certificate program is meant to be attended only after already having the associate degree (or higher), for those interested to pursue a management mortician career path (as a funeral home director). The only disadvantage of the certificate is that it’s currently not nationally accredited, and will only serve those who wish to practice in the state of Texas. You can find out more about the institute here.
6. Fayetteville Technical Community College
A relatively new college for mortuary science, founded in 1974 (as opposed to the previous ones above with around 100 years of history), the Fayetteville Technical Community College offers two types of degrees. The first one is a Funeral Directing diploma (bachelor’s degree), meant for those who want to direct a funeral home without the embalming component, and it can be obtained completely online. The second one is an associate’s degree in Funeral Service, and it is meant for those who want to work as a funeral director with the embalming component of the job; since the embalming part requires practical experience, this one can be completed mostly online, but not entirely.
Another popular mortician school is the Mid-American College of Funeral Service, located in Jefferson, Indiana. The single program offered by the school is an associate’s degree, requiring 18 months to be completed. The interesting detail about this mortician school is that the curricula includes liberal arts classes besides the traditional mortuary science ones, in an effort to produce knowledgeable and sensitive funeral home workers. You can find out more about their admissions and the tuition fees required here.
8. The Mortuary Science Department of Cypress College
This department of the Cypress College (California) offers a mortuary science program for an associate’s degree, which takes 3 semesters to complete. The program’s costs are $13,550 for state residents, and its curricula is impressively diverse, including courses about ceremonies, restorative art and so on, in addition to the regular and more practical aspects taught by a mortician school.
The Funeral Service Education Program within this college is popular especially with those already working full time in a funeral home, who also wish to pursue a degree which will allow them to comply with the specific state regulations from their individual states. The associate degree must be completed within 4 semesters of starting this mortician school program. You can find out more about admissions and requirements here.
This college is located in Chester, Virginia, and its mortuary science program is one of the oldest in the area. A Bachelor of Applied Science is available in its Funeral Service Program, requiring 5 semesters of study, and costing only $2552 to complete. If you’re looking for a mortician school online, you will be pleased to know that the program can be completed either way – online or offline. You can find out more about the program and its requirements here.