Career Detail


Funeral Director
“Preparing the Final Destination”
Consists of the burial or cremation of the dead, as well as the planning and arrangement of the actual funeral ceremony.
The Job
Funeral directors also are called morticians or undertakers. They arrange and direct tasks for grieving families of the deceased. This usually includes preparing the remains, performing a ceremony that honors the deceased and addresses the spiritual needs of the family, and carrying out final disposition of the deceased. Most funeral directors also are trained, licensed, and practicing embalmers. Embalming is a sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative process through which the body is prepared for interment.
Work Environment
Most funeral homes are small, family-run businesses, and many funeral directors are owner-operators or employees with managerial responsibilities.
College Majors
Mortuary Science
Minimum Qualifications
All States require funeral directors to be licensed. Licensing laws vary by State, but most require applicants to be 21 years old, have 2 years of formal education.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Funeral directors need the ability to communicate easily and compassionately and to comfort people in a time of sorrow.
Quick Facts
  • Some mortuary science graduates relocate to get a job.
  • Job opportunities should be good, particularly for those who also embalm.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages for funeral directors were $52,210 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,980 and $69,680. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,910 and the top 10 percent earned more than $92,940.
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