0 selections
0 selections

What is a Funeral Director

The job of a funeral director is to coordinate and perform funeral rites. He/She collaborates with the family of the deceased to make funeral arrangements. He/She also directs and oversees the work of embalmers, death certificate clerks, funeral attendants, cosmetologists, and other staff. The director monitors funeral service operations to ensure compliance with necessary policies and laws. Additionally, he/she prepares obituary notices and distributes them as directed by the family to media outlets. As the funeral director, you are responsible for completing and keeping important records like state-required documents or product inventories.

To become a funeral director, you need at least an associate's degree in mortuary science. You must also have some of the following licenses: funeral director license, embalming license, driver's license, etc. You must possess negotiation, communication, time management, organization, customer service, heavy lifting, and computer skills. Funeral directors are referred to as morticians or undertakers. A funeral director makes about $50,377 annually.

What Does a Funeral Director Do

Funeral service workers organize and manage the details of a funeral.

Learn more about what a Funeral Director does

How To Become a Funeral Director

An associate’s degree in funeral service or mortuary science is the typical education requirement for funeral service workers. With the exception of funeral service managers, all workers must be licensed in Washington, D.C. and every state in which they work, except Colorado which offers a voluntary certification program. 

Education

An associate’s degree in 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. States have their own education requirements, and state licensing laws vary. Most employers require applicants to be 21 years old; have 2 years of formal education; serve a 1-year internship before, during, or after attending a mortuary college; and pass a state licensing exam after graduation. 

In some states, licensure for funeral directors and embalmers is separate.   

The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) accredits 58 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 usually adequate, 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.

Training

Morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors must complete hands-on training, usually lasting 1 to 3 years, under the direction of a licensed funeral director or manager. The internship may be completed before, during, or after completing a 2-year funeral service or mortuary science program and passing a national board exam. Internships provide practical experience in all aspects of the funeral service.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

With the exception of funeral service managers, all workers must be licensed in Washington, D.C. 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 2 years in an ABFSE funeral service or mortuary science program, and pass a national board exam
  • Serve an internship lasting 1 to 3 years

Applicants must then pass a state licensing exam. Working in multiple states will require multiple licenses. For specific requirements, applicants should contact each applicable state licensing board.

Most states require funeral directors and embalmers to receive continuing education credits annually to keep their licenses.

The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) offer crematory certification designations. A growing number of states are requiring certification for those who will perform cremations. For specific requirements, applicants should contact their state board.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Workers increasingly are being required to have some office management experience, particularly for funeral service managers who run their own funeral home business.

Important Qualities

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.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Perry Homes Jobs (2)
  2. McClure Jobs (2)
  3. Taylor Community Jobs (3)
  4. The Rosewood Jobs (2)
  5. Trade Jobs (5)
Average Salary
$44,922
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
2,835
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Funeral Director Career Paths

Funeral Director Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Funeral Director

Funeral Directors in America make an average salary of $44,922 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $75,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,922
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Funeral Director? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Funeral Director Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Funeral Director templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Funeral Director resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume
Funeral Director Resume

Funeral Director Demographics

Funeral Director Gender Distribution

Male
Male
65%
Female
Female
35%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Funeral Directors, 35.3% of them are women, while 64.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Funeral Directors is White, which makes up 77.3% of all Funeral Directors.

  • The most common foreign language among Funeral Directors is Spanish at 65.7%.

Job Openings

Find the best Funeral Director job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Funeral Director Jobs You Might Like

Funeral Director Education

Funeral Director Majors

15.4 %

Funeral Director Degrees

Associate

48.1 %

Bachelors

35.0 %

High School Diploma

6.7 %

Top Colleges for Funeral Directors

1. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Point Park University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$31,450
Enrollment
3,170

6. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Canton, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,389
Enrollment
3,127

7. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,478
Enrollment
979

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

9. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990
Job Openings

Find the best Funeral Director job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Funeral Director Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Funeral Director That You May Like

Start Improving Customer Service
udemy
4.1
(2,025)

Creating a Customer Service advantage in Your department or business through communication and Customer Management...

Customer Service
udemy
4.6
(4,889)

How to Approach New Customers and Maintain Existing Ones...

Customer Service Mastery: Delight Every Customer
udemy
4.6
(11,073)

Master Customer Service using this practical customer care course...

Show More Funeral Director Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Funeral Director

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 20.6% of Funeral Directors listed Client Families on their resume, but soft skills such as Business skills and Compassion are important as well.

Best States For a Funeral Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Funeral Director. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Oregon, California, and Pennsylvania. Funeral Directors make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $74,039. Whereas in Oregon and California, they would average $61,088 and $59,863, respectively. While Funeral Directors would only make an average of $58,566 in Pennsylvania, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Funeral Director Jobs:
11
Highest 10% Earn:
$100,000
Location Quotient:
0.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Arizona

Total Funeral Director Jobs:
21
Highest 10% Earn:
$90,000
Location Quotient:
0.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Pennsylvania

Total Funeral Director Jobs:
12
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
0.09
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Funeral Directors

How Do Funeral Director Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Funeral Director? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Funeral Director?
Rate how you like work as Funeral Director. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Funeral Director Employers

Most Common Employers For Funeral Director

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Funeral Director SalaryAverage Salary
1
1.Evergreen Moneysource Mortgage Company
$63,045
2$54,992
3$52,811
4$52,503
5
5.WC Smith
$52,384
6
6.George H Green Oil
$51,743

Funeral Director Videos