Mortuary Career Statistics

Mortuary Career Statistics

There were about 24,000 funeral directors in 2002.

  • About 11% were self-employed.
  • Funeral directors in larger cities typically earn more than those in small towns or rural areas.
  • Mortuary science students sometimes have to relocate to find their first job.
  • The American Board of Funeral Service Education is the accrediting body for about 50 mortuary science programs.
  • Mortuary science is offered at community colleges (2-year programs) and colleges or universities (2- or 4-year programs).
  • Continuing education programs are offered by several state and national associations. More than thirty states require funeral directors to take continuing education courses.
  • Most states require mortuary science students to complete an apprenticeship, which usually lasts 1 to 3 years.
  • Important qualities include tact, compassion and good communication skills.
  • Funeral directors and embalmers MUST be licensed.
  • Funeral directors must be very familiar with the funeral and burial customs of different cultures and religions.

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