- Funeral Service Workers
- Top 3 Funeral Director Jobs
- Duties of Funeral Service Workers
- Funeral Service Worker Schedules
- Education for Funeral Service Workers
- Funeral Service Worker Training
- Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Funeral Service Workers
- Work Experience in a Related Occupation for Funeral Service Workers
- Important Qualities for Funeral Service Workers
- Job Prospects for Funeral Service Workers
- Explore more careers: View all Careers or the Top 30 Career Profiles
- How Much Money Do Funeral Homes Make Yearly (Profit Margin)
- 1. Management Style
- 2. Burial Versus Cremation
- 3. Green Burials
- 4. Industry Experience
- 5. Location
- 6. Additional Products
- 7. Additional Funeral Services
- Estimated Profit Margin for a Funeral Home
Funeral Service Workers
What They Do: Funeral service workers organize and manage the details of a funeral.
Work Environment: Funeral service workers are employed in funeral homes and crematories. They are often on call, and long workdays are common, including evenings and weekends. Most work full time.
How to Become One: An associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science is the typical education requirement for funeral service workers. Most employers and state licensing laws require applicants to be 21 years old, have 2 years of formal education, have supervised training, and pass a state licensing exam.
Salary: The median annual wage for funeral home managers is $76,350. The median annual wage for morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers is $54,150.
Job Outlook: Overall employment of funeral service workers is projected to decline 4 percent over the next ten years. Those who are licensed as funeral directors and embalmers and who are willing to relocate should have the best job opportunities.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of funeral service workers with similar occupations.
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a funeral service worker with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers.
You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring.
The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:
Top 3 Funeral Director Jobs
- Funeral Director – Service Corporation International – Kahului, HI Apprentice, Funeral Director experience as required by state/provincial law * 2 years directly related experience preferred Certification/Licenses * Must meet all licensing requirements required by …
- MGR Funeral Home – Service Corporation International – Corpus Christi, TX Funeral Director license as required by state/province law and as prescribed by each state board Experience * Minimum five (5) years industry experience in the applicable discipline with …
- Funeral Director/Embalmer – Carriage Services Inc. – Concord, CA Funeral Director /Embalmer LocationConcord, CA 94521Job TypeFull-time The Funeral Director /Embalmer is accountable for performing a variety of tasks during the preparation, planning, and execution of …
See all Funeral Director jobs
Funeral service workers organize and manage the details of a funeral.
Duties of Funeral Service Workers
Funeral service workers typically do the following:
- Offer counsel and comfort to families and friends of the deceased
- Provide information on funeral service options
- Arrange for removal of the deceased's body
- Prepare the remains (the deceased's body) for the funeral
- File death certificates and other legal documents with appropriate authorities
Funeral service workers help to determine the locations, dates, and times of visitations (wakes), funerals or memorial services, burials, and cremations. They handle other details as well, such as helping the family decide whether the body should be buried, entombed, or cremated. This decision is critical because funeral practices vary among cultures and religions.
Most funeral service workers attend to the administrative aspects pertaining to a person's death, including submitting papers to state officials to receive a death certificate. They also may help resolve insurance claims, apply for funeral benefits, or notify the Social Security Administration or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of the death.
Many funeral service workers work with clients who wish to plan their own funerals in advance, to ensure that their needs are met and to ease the planning burden on surviving family members.
Funeral service workers also may provide information and resources, such as support groups, to help grieving friends and family.
The following are examples of types of funeral service workers:
Funeral service managers oversee the general operations of a funeral home business. They perform a wide variety of duties, such as planning and allocating the resources of the funeral home, managing staff, and handling marketing and public relations.
Funeral directors and morticians plan the details of a funeral. They often prepare obituary notices and arrange for pallbearers and clergy services.
If a burial is chosen, they schedule the opening and closing of a grave with a representative of the cemetery. If cremation is chosen, they coordinate the process with the crematory.
They also prepare the sites of all services and provide transportation for the deceased and mourners. In addition, they arrange the shipment of bodies state or country for final disposition.
Finally, these workers handle administrative duties. For example, they often apply for the transfer of any pensions, insurance policies, or annuities on behalf of survivors.
Most funeral directors and morticians embalm bodies. Embalming is a cosmetic and temporary preservative process through which the body is prepared for a viewing by family and friends of the deceased.
Funeral home managers hold about 28,600 jobs. The largest employers of funeral home managers are as follows:
|Death care services||33%|
Morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers hold about 26,600 jobs. The largest employers of morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers are as follows:
|Death care services||94%|
Funeral services traditionally take place in a house of worship, in a funeral home, or at a gravesite or crematory. However, some families prefer holding the service in their home or in a social center.
Funeral service workers typically perform their duties in a funeral home. Workers also may operate a merchandise display room, crematory, or cemetery, which may be on the funeral home premises.
The work is often stressful, because workers must arrange the various details of a funeral within 24 to 72 hours of a death.
In addition, they may be responsible for managing multiple funerals on the same day.
Although workers may come into contact with bodies that have contagious diseases, the work is not dangerous if proper safety and health regulations are followed. Those working in crematories are exposed to high temperatures and must wear appropriate protective clothing.
Funeral Service Worker Schedules
Most funeral service workers are employed full time. They are often on call, and long workdays are common, including evenings and weekends.
Get the education you need: Find schools for Funeral Service Workers near you!
An associate's degree in funeral service or mortuary science is the typical education requirement for funeral service workers. Most employers require applicants to be 21 years old, have 2 years of formal education, have supervised training, and pass a state licensing exam.
Education for Funeral Service Workers
An associate's degree in funeral service or mortuary science is the typical education requirement for all funeral service workers. Courses taken usually include those covering the topics of ethics, grief counseling, funeral service, and business law. All accredited programs also include courses in embalming and restorative techniques.
The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) accredits 60 funeral service and mortuary science programs, most of which are 2-year associate's degree programs offered at community colleges. Some programs offer a bachelor's degree.
Although an associate's degree is typically required, some employers prefer applicants to have a bachelor's degree.
High school students can prepare to become a funeral service worker by taking courses in biology, chemistry, and business, and by participating in public speaking.
Part-time or summer jobs in funeral homes also provide valuable experience.
Funeral Service Worker Training
Those studying to be funeral directors and morticians must complete training, usually lasting 1 to 3 years, under the direction of a licensed funeral director or manager. The training, sometimes called an internship or an apprenticeship, may be completed before, during, or after graduating from a 2-year funeral service or mortuary science program and passing a national board exam.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Funeral Service Workers
Most workers must be licensed in Washington, DC and every state in which they work, except Colorado, which offers a voluntary certification program. Although licensing laws and examinations vary by state, most applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be 21 years old
- Complete an ABFSE accredited funeral service or mortuary science program
- Pass a state and/or national board exam
- Serve an internship lasting 1 to 3 years
Working in multiple states will require multiple licenses. For specific requirements, applicants should contact each applicable state licensing board.
Most states require funeral directors to earn continuing education credits annually to keep their licenses.
The Cremation Association of North America (CANA); International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA); and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) offer crematory certification designations. Many states require certification for those who will perform cremations. For specific requirements, applicants should contact their state board or one of the above organizations.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation for Funeral Service Workers
Funeral service managers typically have multiple years of experience working as a funeral director or mortician before becoming managers.
Important Qualities for Funeral Service Workers
Business skills. Knowledge of financial statements and the ability to run a funeral home efficiently and profitably are important for funeral directors and managers.
Compassion. Death is a delicate and emotional matter. Funeral service workers must be able to treat clients with care and sympathy in their time of loss.
Interpersonal skills. Funeral service workers should have good interpersonal skills. When speaking with families, for instance, they must be tactful and able to explain and discuss all matters about services provided.
Time-management skills. Funeral service workers must be able to handle numerous tasks for multiple customers, often over a short timeframe.
The median annual wage for funeral home managers is $76,350. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $161,870.
The median annual wage for morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers is $54,150. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $89,880.
The median annual wages for funeral home managers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Death care services||$76,280|
The median annual wages for morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Death care services||$53,890|
Most funeral service workers are employed full time. They are often on call, and long workdays are common, including evenings and weekends.
Overall employment of funeral service workers is projected to decline 4 percent over the next ten years.
Demand for funeral service workers is expected to go down over the next decade as consumers increasingly prefer cremation, which costs less and requires fewer workers than traditional funeral arrangements.
Job Prospects for Funeral Service Workers
Job prospects for funeral service workers are expected to be good overall. Opportunities should be particularly favorable for those who are licensed as both a funeral director and an embalmer, for those willing to relocate, and for certified crematory operators.
Some job openings should result from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation each year.
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Explore more careers: View all Careers or the Top 30 Career Profiles
How Much Money Do Funeral Homes Make Yearly (Profit Margin)
Do you want to know how much money funeral homes make yearly? If YES, here are 7 factors that determine the income & profit margin for funeral home owners.
Funeral home businesses provide burial, cremation and memorial services for those who have passed away.
In the United States and almost everywhere in the world, these businesses play an important role in providing families of deceased persons with the much-needed closure.
Most funeral homes charge a “basic service fee” which includes services that are common to all funerals, regardless of the specific arrangement. Most non-declinable service fees average around $2,000 – $2,500.
This basic service fee may include obtaining copies of the death certificate, securing any permits needed, sheltering the remains, and coordinating the arrangements.
The fee will not include any optional services or products such as caskets.
Some funeral homes also sell caskets, flowers, urns and other items/services related to death. Funerals cost around $6,000 to $7,000. This cost includes embalming, cosmetics, viewings, transportation expenses and professional charges. However, it is possible to charge more if a funeral home business offers extra services.
According to reports, a funeral home business located in the right area with plenty of senior citizens has the potential to rake in thousands of dollars per year. However, it will ly take several years for the funeral home business to reach this point of profitability.
Since the global population in the United States is aging, death rates and the demand for funeral homes are expected to continue increasing. There are a variety of factors affecting the profitability of funeral homes. These factors include:
1. Management Style
A successful funeral home business owner is expected to meet with prospective clients, handle the demands of existing clients, performs research on funeral-related equipment, steer marketing efforts and delegates work to employees. Their ability to effectively perform these duties and their skills in business management will ultimately affect the bottom line of the business.
A funeral home business owner who has solid people skills, an aptitude for marketing and the ability to console those who are grieving, will succeed in this industry. The key is to get to know the community. Develop a rapport with locals and market the funeral home business in a tasteful manner.
2. Burial Versus Cremation
Burials traditionally cost more than cremation, but gross margins are also typically lower.
Apart from the cost of materials to produce caskets, cemetery plots are becoming increasingly expensive to purchase and maintain.
The average cost of a cremation ranges from $1,000 – $8,000 depending on the state and services chosen. A cremation can cost almost as much as a funeral because of the various fees paid to the funeral home.
3. Green Burials
Eco – friendly funerals are on the rise and may save families and funeral homes hundreds – even thousands – of dollars on funeral costs depending on the style chosen.
Biodegradable caskets are often much cheaper than traditional caskets. The cost base of eco – friendly burials is substantially lower than traditional burials, sometimes by as much as 50 percent.
Depending on the location however, green burials can boost the gross margins of funeral operators.
4. Industry Experience
A new funeral home owner with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and other pay) of $38,424. An early career Funeral owner with 1 – 4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $41,686.
A mid – career Funeral home owner with 5 – 9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $46,960. An experienced Funeral home owner with 10 – 19 years experience earns an average total compensation of $71,443. In their late career (20 years and higher), these business owners earn an average total compensation of $92,000 or higher.
According to reports, the cost of a funeral with burial was highest in the north central region of the country, such as Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Nebraska, and Kansas. The cost of cremation services was highest in the north east region of the country, such as Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
Howbeit, Funeral Homes in New York earn an average of 44.7 percent more than the national average. They can also find higher than average income in Chicago, Illinois (26.4 percent more) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (18.5 percent more). The lowest can be found in Los Angeles, California (12.2 percent less).
6. Additional Products
Some funeral homes also sell caskets, flowers, urns and other items/services related to death. The general funeral cost is around $6,000 to $7,000. This cost includes embalming, cosmetics, viewings, transportation expenses and professional charges. Embalming averages around $500 – $700 and usually doesn’t cost more than $1,000.
Embalming is not always required and depends on whether or not the body is buried or cremated and how quickly the service takes place after the deceased’s passing. Refrigeration is often an alternative to embalming, but even refrigeration can cost several hundred dollars. Flowers cost around $500 – $700, while wreaths displayed around the casket typically cost about $100 – $200 each.
A decent sized casket wreath will probably cost between $500 – $700 depending on the florist, flowers used, and size of the display. An average grave plot will cost around $1,000 – $4,000, but metropolitan areas, such as areas of Los Angeles and Chicago, may cost more.
Upright headstones usually stand on top of the grave and cost around $2,000 – $5,000 depending on the design. Grave markers lie flat on the ground and cost around $1,000. Each cost depends on the type of material used, with stone and bronze material being the cheapest.
7. Additional Funeral Services
A funeral home’s least expensive option is usually a direct burial. Having a direct burial means the body is not embalmed and there is no visitation.
Another option is direct cremation, which is essentially the same as a direct burial, except the body is cremated not buried.
A horse drawn funeral is not available everywhere, but can provide a unique alternative to a regular hearse and provide families with additional style and elegance.
Funeral Homes that provide this service usually offer black or white horses and decorations in the colour of choice. The cost of a horse and carriage is higher and is usually charged per hour. Shipping a body can increase funeral costs by $2,000 or more. Any funeral home that offers these additional services will make money and profit than funeral homes who offer fewer services.
In conclusion, the profit of a funeral home will depend on the factors mentioned above. Howbeit, relationships are at the foundation of this business. Funeral home business owners who establish a flawless reputation within their local community will win the business of locals for generations.
Estimated Profit Margin for a Funeral Home
According to reports, the average gross profit margin across the funeral industry is 62.5 percent. This ranks just above the midpoint compared to other common industries. However, independent operators may barely squeeze a margin of 10 to 30 percent.
Although this business might not be for everyone, but working in the funeral service can be a profitable career move. A non – managerial employee can earn around $57,580 per year with an associate’s degree. That rate certainly jumps for funeral service managers, who have a median annual wage of $79,180.
Morticians, undertakers and funeral directors, on the other hand, have a median annual wage of $52,650. Embalmers tend to be on the lower end of the pay scale with a median annual wage of $45,060. Top – earning owners are said to make over $92,000, according to according industry reports.
Starting a funeral home will cost between $150,000 and $300,000 for a small – scale and intimate mortuary. But creating a large – scale franchise could cost upward of $2 million.
Researcher / Senior Writer at Profitable Venture Magazine LtdSolomon O’chucks is a Researcher, Prolific Writer and a UNICEF trained & Certified Facilitator and Counselor, A Graduate of Morris Cerullor School of Ministry and He Holds a Degree in Personal Development & Science of Success from IIGL Asheville, NC, USA.