Career in mortuary services is rare but highly rewarding. Funeral rites and practices vary sharply from religion to religion and culture to culture. However, there are some common features in all funeral services. These features include shifting the dead body to a mortuary, preparation of the remains, performing religious rites to honor the deceased and finally taking out the funeral procession for burial or cremation. These funeral arrangements are managed and directed by funeral directors who are professional experts.
Funeral directors are also known as undertakers or morticians. It is a fact that very few people are attracted towards choosing a career option as a funeral director. However, professionals who are associated with this profession find it both prospective as well as satisfying. Professional undertakers take much pride in their skills of providing decent an appropriate funeral services.
Specific professional skills
One of the key professional skills associated with funeral directors is embalming. Embalming is a preservative, sanitary and cosmetic process a dead body is supposed to pass through before it is buried. State laws in the US dictate that a dead body should be embalmed or refrigerated if there is a 24-hour gap between death and burial.
Other job responsibilities of funeral directors include preparation of the obituary notices and get them published in newspapers, arrangement of clergy and pallbearers, planning the schedule time of the opening and closure of the grave, preparing and decorating the site of the funeral services, arranging transportation of the dead body and mourners.
Professional and educational training
To be eligible for pursuing a career in mortuary services as funeral director, one should have mortuary science degree from an accredited college. This education program generally takes a period of two years to four years to be completed. In USA, there are fifty mortuary science programs accredited by American Board of Funeral Service Education. Two-year programs are generally offered by junior colleges and community colleges. Universities and colleges provide both four-year and two-year programs.
Average annual earning
Currently, funeral directors in USA are paid an annual average salary of about 53,921 dollars. Salary and career prospects in funeral service are significantly high in big cities than rural areas and small townships.