USA Career Guide- Funeral Directors

Education & Training needed to be Funeral Directors

Minimum qualification is a High school Diploma followed by 2-year associate degree in mortuary science or in some states, it is mandatory to complete 4-year degree program in mortuary science.  Students can prepare for a job as a funeral director by taking courses in biology and chemistry and by participating in public speaking. Part-time or summer jobs in funeral homes also are good experience.
The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) accredits 57 mortuary science programs, most of which are 2-year associate’s degree programs offered at community colleges. About 9 programs give a bachelor’s degree.


All funeral directors must be licensed by the state in which they work. Licensing laws vary by state but BLS states the requirement for the most applicants to procure license as Funeral Director as under:

     Be 21 years old
     Complete 2 years in an AFSBE mortuary science program
     Serve an apprenticeship lasting 1 to 3 years

Applicants must then pass a qualifying exam. Working in multiple states may require multiple licenses. For specific requirements, applicants should contact their state licensing board.
Most states require funeral directors to receive continuing education credits to keep their licenses.

Pay of Funeral Directors

The median annual wage of funeral directors was $54,140 in May 2010. 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 $29,890, and the top 10 percent earned more than $98,340.
Most funeral directors work full time. They are frequently on call and work nights and weekends. Long hours are common.

Job Prospects of Funeral Directors

Employment of funeral directors is expected to increase 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment growth reflects an increase in the number of expected deaths among the largest segment of the population: aging baby boomers. Also, a growing number of older people are expected to prearrange their end-of-life services, increasing the need for funeral directors. This service gives family and friends a stress-free understanding that their final wishes will be met.  Job prospects for funeral directors are expected to be good overall, and more favorable for those who embalm and are willing to relocate. Some job openings should result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.

Industrial Overview of Funeral Directors

Funeral directors held about 29,300 jobs in 2010. About 92 percent worked in the funeral services industry. Funeral directors work mostly

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