The requirements necessary to begin a career as a mortician varies state to state. For example, in states that license embalmers, the mandatory education level is an associate’s degree (via an accredited Funeral services or Mortuary Science program); however some states only require a bachelor’s degree and mortuary training.
Some embalmers opt for a business degree, followed by earning a mortuary degree, while others go for a bachelor’s degree in mortuary science. In some states embalmers need to be funeral directors, and other states let you be a funeral director without requiring that you become a licensed embalmer. You’ll want to check the rules and regulations of the state you plan on beginning your career as a mortician in before planning out your courses.
High school students can begin preparing for a career as a mortician by taking chemistry and biology courses, as well as taking public speaking classes. Students can also work part time in a funeral home which is a great way to get a feel for everything that goes on in a funeral home. In addition, students must complete on the job training under the tutelage of a licensed funeral director, typically lasting between 1 to 3 years. The apprenticeship can be accomplished before, during, as well as after earning a Mortuary Science Associate’s degree.
Morticians must have at least an associate’s degree in Mortuary Science; however there are a growing number of employers today that favor applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. The ABFSE (American Board of Funeral Service Education) accredits a total of 57 mortuary science programs, most that are 2 year associate’s degree courses usually offered at community colleges. About nine of these programs also offer bachelor degrees. In all Mortuary Science programs, pupils take courses in funeral services, grief counseling, ethics, and business law, as well as restorative and embalming techniques courses.
Online mortuary science programs are also available online through some educational facilities for the part of the program that doesn’t require hands on training. All programs are typically taught by experienced funeral directors and morticians who have been working in the industry for a significant amount of time.
See our listing of the top mortuary science schools & training programs
Note: The specific educational requirements required to become a mortician may vary state-by-state.
If you’re considering becoming a mortician there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, only 20% of your time will more than likely be spent with the departed, with 80% being spent helping the families get through a very difficult process so it’s important that you are a people person, and a good listener with a compassionate side.
It’s a good idea to consult with your local mortician and ask them about their job; most would be happy to answer your questions. Afterwards if you still want to pursue this time honored profession, visit the AFSBE website, browse through their many resources, and checkout schools in your area and what they have to offer; then all you need to do is choose a school and get on the road to a rewarding career as a mortician.
There are several certifications as a mortician you can attain, however most are a boost for your resume, rather than a requirement for working in the profession. The degree and experience is more important than any mortician certification however, depending on your goals and your state, pursuing certification may be worthwhile.
A license is required to practice as a mortician. In order to get a morticians license you need to pass a state, or national, exam and be 21 years of age. Typically this is only a written test but this can vary as well. Usually, the educational facility you acquired your degree and/or certificates through will prepare you for this test. Working in numerous states may lead to additional license requirements; applicants should contact their state licensing board for more information.
All states require morticians to be licensed and licensing laws will vary by state. In order to be licensed most applicants need to:
- As mentioned above applicants must be 21 years of age
- Complete the 2 year AFSBE mortuary science program
- Serve as an apprentice for 1 to 3 years
- Pass the approved exams.
In addition, in order to keep their licenses, most states require morticians to complete continuing education credits annually.
If you’d like to know more about becoming a mortician, you can request more information at…