Also known as funeral director, a mortician is a person who is responsible for helping families for the planning of the funeral, including the burial or cremation and all legal documents needed for the funeral, as well as the choice for the funeral flowers. Part of the duties of a mortician is to help the family in the grieving process as they make choices and decisions about the funeral. When it is difficult for the family to decide, a mortician will step in and make things light and easy. In becoming a mortician, requirements vary from one state to another. Consider looking for the information from your state or ask the state funeral service boards for the information. If you are planning to have a career in the said field, here are the things that you have to complete to be a mortician:
Education, Training, and Certification
An associate degree or a bachelor’s degree is one of the requirements to get the job. A degree in Mortuary Science from an accredited school is the ideal choice if you want to be a mortician. To complete the course, you will need to take classes on Anatomy, Chemistry, Microbiology, Embalming, Professional Ethics, Funeral Service Psychology and Counseling, Federal Regulations, Mortuary Law, and Restorative Art.
Training is also required for aspiring funeral directors. An apprenticeship usually lasts for a year up to three years but it depends on the location or region. There are countries and states that allow apprenticeship and internship while taking up the course, and there are countries and states that allow internship only after completion of course. On-the-job training is also allowed in other states or countries, provided that the candidate has completed GED or has earned a high school diploma. Other funeral homes, on the other hand, provide their own training for the chosen candidates.
In line with education, there are on-campus programs for mortuary science. Classes are offered for day class and evening class. Attending on-campus education is an advantage because of the personal interaction from instructors along with other students. Students are also given highly structured educational setting.
In addition, online programs are also available wherein students can complete the entire course online anywhere he wants through internet access. This is an ideal option for students who have work schedules at daytime. However, attending online classes still require clinical and practicum tests on campus or other facilities provided for off-campus courses.
Passing the exam is required for certification. If you want to be a licensed mortician, you have to pass the licensure examination. In addition to the exams, continuing education courses are also required annually to maintain licensure.
The scope of licensure examination for morticians usually covers funeral directing, funeral service counseling, business operation procedures, legal compliance, embalming, restorative art, funeral sciences, and more.
Skills Required to be Employed
Funeral companies require several skills from a prospective mortician. Skills like giving attention to details, having an open mind towards different cultures and practices, having a respectful and dignified manner, being sensitive, emotionally stable, dedicated in working, flexible, and compassionate are what most employers want from a candidate. If you want to have a career as a mortician in a reputable funeral company, these are the characters that you should possess.
For the non-academic requirements, a potential employer may ask for updated immunization records, police or criminal clearance, certification for CPR and First Aid knowledge, and license to drive (optional). It is best to have a readily available copy of these documents just in case the employer asks for it.
Responsibilities of a Mortician
When someone dies, the family contacts a mortician for services they need for the funerals, which include retrieving the body from a hospital or home address and preparing the body for the funeral. A mortician also helps the family to plan and decide on the funeral service they want. More than that, he also helps schedule and arranges cremation or burial, whichever the family prefers, with recommendations of the best gravesites in and out of the community. In case obituary notices are to be published, he also helps the family.
With the proper education, skills, and certification, a mortician can be hired as a manager for a funeral service providing company. He or she can handle and manage the operations of the mortuary or funeral home. When hired as manager, his duties include managing the business operations while taking charge of the staff, services offered, and customer care.
The field of funeral services, including being a mortician, is a job position that has increasing demands. You can find a job vacancy for the position within the community or in the neighboring communities. If you are a certified mortician that can be relocated in other places, aside from your immediate community, your chance of getting hired is even higher.
Tough decisions that the family of the deceased person has to make usually cause the delay in funeral services, which is why it is an advantage if a mortician is knowledgeable in the field. By having everything in proper outline, the family does not have to carry the burden of thinking what is needed to be done in order to give a loved one a dignified funeral service and burial service. The professional and reliable mortician already lined up all the important matters, making it easier for the family to decide and furnish required papers and documents.