What Do Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors Do?
As a mortician, undertaker, or funeral director you will be responsible for arranging funeral services and preparing the remains of the deceased. There is a lot of planning involved following a death, and you must meet with families to form a schedule and coordinate the funeral details and burial. There is also paperwork along with stenography and transcriptions duties since you will be involved in ordering obituaries, death certificates, and burial permits.
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors Skills and Abilities
As a mortician, undertaker, or funeral director you will need a solid ability to communicate effectively and coordinate resourcefully with other people. A big part of this job is related to customer service as you will be working with family and friends of the deceased and must present a positive and understanding demeanor. The people you will be assisting will have just lost someone close to them so professionalism and social perceptiveness are imperative. Along with these skills is the understanding of chemistry as the job will call for you to embalm the deceased bodies. You must have the knowledge of chemical compounds and reactions in order to maintain a clean, safe environment.
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors Duties
Aside from embalming, the duties for this position also entail the complete coordination of the burial and funeral events. Oversight of the body—as well as the management of the deceased’s family, friends, and guests—are all included as part of the lead up to the burial and funeral. Other duties include:
- Assisting in casket selection
- Offering comfort to bereaving family members
- Arranging transportation for the casket, flowers, mourners, pallbearers, and clergy
- Communicating with cemeteries to schedule the opening and closing of graves
- Facilitating the shipment of bodies for burials out of state
While on this job, you will be responsible for planning from beginning to end. There are other clerical duties to be taken care of as well. Financial records must be kept, and you will need to handle the paperwork that is necessary for state agencies and insurance companies.
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors Tools and Technology
For your clerical duties, certain software will be used for word processing and record keeping purposes. When embalming the bodies, a wide range of tools are used, including:
- Embalming injecting tubes
- Embalming vein drainage tubes
- Floor grade forceps or hemostats
- Operating room patient positioning devices or accessories
You will need to incorporate these tools with your knowledge of chemistry and anatomy in order to properly prepare the body for the funeral.
Education and Training for Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors
Nationwide, the majority of people within this role have obtained an associate’s degree. Following that, the next highest group would be those with a bachelor’s degree. While there is long-term on-the-job training, a degree would still be beneficial given the amount of chemistry that is needed. Experience is also a vital factor as you will need to exhibit excellent customer service and people skills.
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors Salary
The bottom ten percent of morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors will make $25,900 annually, while the top ten percent can expect to bring home $83,500 annually. However, the national median salary is $47,300.
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors Jobs by Geography
This field is expected to increase by 12 percent nationwide, which amounts to 790 jobs being added annually. Alabama, Texas, and New Jersey are all showing the highest rates of job growth in the country. Nebraska, Minnesota, and Mississippi are showing the slowest growth rate, and the state of North Carolina has actually had a decrease in available jobs.