Care For The Deceased And Comfort For The Living: Mortuary Science and Funeral Studies

Do you feel that the deceased should be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve? Would you like to work in an industry that offers comfort and closure to the bereaved? With a degree in mortuary science and funeral studies you can prepare yourself for a career as a funeral director or mortician. This degree can help you to gain access to a career field that dates back to ancient times and even in our modern age funeral homes are still a necessity. While popular culture often depicts the funeral service industry as lonely and morbid, there are also plenty of opportunities to interact with people and make a positive impact on their lives.

Mortuary Science and Funeral Studies Information

Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science

An associate degree in the field of mortuary science is designed to assist students with the preparations for meeting the licensing requirements for their state to become morticians. Completing this degree may make students eligible for entry level licensed mortician work and the ability to complete the National Board Examination. Course topics that may form part of this degree include human anatomy for mortuary science, microbiology for mortuary science, embalming theory, funeral service principles, mortuary management and mortuary laws and practices. The duration of for this type of degree is usually about two years.

Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service

This four year degree program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and practice required to pursue careers in the funeral service. The programme structure typically includes courses such as funeral service psychology, mortuary anatomy, pathology, mortuary law, embalming chemistry and funeral service counseling.

Mortuary Science and Funeral Studies FAQs

Can Mortuary Science and Funeral Studies Degrees Be Earned Online?

Because one of the requirements of studying and working in this field is the completion of an internship at a funeral home, it is not possible to obtain mortuary science degrees at an associate level in an online only capacity. Instead, most online options are available in hybrid format where courses are completed using the internet, but apprenticeship is done at a local funeral home. These courses typically also require students to visit the campus in order to conduct procedures that are impossible to each online only, such as clinical embalming training. However, those who are already licensed funeral directors and embalmers with an associate’s degree can go on to complete their bachelor’s degree online.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study In This Field?

Working in the funeral service industry can be very demanding, so it is important that you are able to handle the responsibility. Because the funeral service industry is one that deals with the living as well as the dead, it will be a big advantage if you are compassionate. However, since careers in this field can also take a toll, it is just as important that you are able to handle the mental and emotional strain that comes from dealing with bodies.

What Are My Potential Career Options After Completing This Type of Degree?

Students who complete a degree in mortuary science and funeral studies typically go on to work as a funeral director at a funeral home. In addition to working as a director at a funeral home you can also start your own funeral service business with the right degree along with a state license.

What Are The Licensing Requirements To Work As A Funeral Director?

The licensing requirements to work as a funeral director differs between certain states, but typically involves at least an associate degree in mortuary science, passing the national board and have a certain amount of apprenticeship hours. Students must also be 18 years or older and free of any criminal record acts that could be grounds for denial of licensure.

How Much May I Be Able To Earn When Pursuing A Career In This Field?

According to the figures published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, morticians, undertakers and funeral directors took home a median annual wage of about $50,090 per year during 2016. Hourly wages for these occupations range from $13.44 for the bottom 10% all the way up to $40.38 for the top 90%. Massachusetts is the top paying state for this occupation with an annual mean wage of $73,390, closely followed by Delaware, Illinois and New Jersey.

What Type of Duties Might I Have When Working In This Type of Industry?

There are a lot of different duties associated with working in the funeral service industry, but these will depend on the type of occupation that you choose. For example, when working as a funeral director, undertaker or mortician you’ll be responsible for planning the funeral details. This may include the preparation of obituary notices as well as arranging the services of clergy. Other duties range from preparing the sites for services, providing transport and coordinating with crematoriums if cremation is chosen instead of burial. The embalming of bodies for the viewing by mourners is often also required and there are plenty of additional administrative duties that must be handled.

What Are The Other Advantages To Study For This Degree?

There is no doubt that working in the funeral service industry is not something that appeals to everyone, but it is not without its advantages. First and foremost is the fact that it is a career path that offers plenty of stability. After all, people pass away every day and this results in a constant demand for funeral homes. It is not just a career path steeped in sadness either, as the services that you provide can bring comfort and closure to those who were close to the deceased. It is an industry where you’ll be dealing with people during some of the most challenging times of their lives and you can have a real impact on them through your actions. If you are someone who truly cares about others and have compassion, it can be a very rewarding career.

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