A funeral service director, often known as a mortician or undertaker, is responsible for planning and overseeing the details of a person’s memorial services (funerals, burials, wakes, cremations) after death. However, there is a lot more to this career than what we see on the surface.
A funeral director is often the person that grieving families turn to for support and comfort, during the some of the saddest moments of their lives. As a result, these professionals need to have a natural sense of empathy, compassion, and composure as they help loved ones through the process. They also need to have business and event planning skills, and an interest in mortuary science, too. Not only do funeral directors run funeral homes, they also can be found preparing (embalming) bodies of the deceased.
If you are interested in filling this very important role, you may be looking for a mortuary science program that can set you up for success. Today, specific certification and special training is required to work in funeral services. This is not an easy process, but it can be very worth it. Funeral service work is incredibly rewarding. You are making the funeral planning process a whole lot easier for families in mourning, so they can focus on what’s important: saying goodbye one last time, and celebrating the life they have lost.
As you begin to consider your options for a mortuary science degree, you’ll want to find an accredited school that aligns with your career goals, works with your schedule, and helps you meet the standard requirements to succeed. An associate degree is the norm for aspiring morticians and funeral directors. This will prepare you for a fulfilling career in the in-demand field of mortuary science. Read on, as we share some of the top qualities to look for in a mortuary science program.
- Comprehensive Coursework
Before beginning your career in funeral service, you will need a great mortuary science program to give you the knowledge and tools needed for the job. Goodwin University’s mortuary science program encourages independent thinking through practical coursework and modern technical instruction. The curriculum includes the following courses:
- Funeral Service Management and Communications
- Restorative Art
- Funeral Service Law
- Embalming I and Thanato-Chemistry
- Funeral Service History and Merchandising
- And more!
The mortuary science program at Goodwin University is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) – this is required in Connecticut.
- Internship/apprenticeship opportunities
In addition to a thorough education, future funeral service directors must complete training, which typically lasts 1-3 years under the direction of a licensed funeral director or manager. Again, this is mandatory in many states including Connecticut. At Goodwin University, students are set up with one-year paid apprenticeships. These are offered at funeral homes all over the state. With this valuable experience, students can gain hands-on experience in areas like:
- Business management
- Restorative art
Students of the funeral service program must complete 180 hours at their internship, participate in 10 embalming operations, as well as an additional 30 hours of on-campus coursework learning about business management.
- Proper Preparation for the Board Exam
After completing your apprenticeship, you will be eligible to sit for your state board exam. Once you’ve passed the state board exam, you will be qualified for a variety of careers in the funeral service field, including a career as a funeral director.
- Skills and Training Needed for the Job
Once you have completed a mortuary science program and passed your state board exam, you will feel prepared to take on the rewarding work within this industry. Graduates of Goodwin’s mortuary science school are able to:
- Coordinate conferences with families and handle transfer of remains, cremation, and accommodate different religious practices of various faiths.
- Apply the techniques restoring and recreating areas of the body that may have been distorted by disease or traumatic injury.
- Navigate the basics of marketing and merchandising in the funeral service profession.
- Explore the psychological impact of death and how it affects the funeral service practitioner.
- Introduce the elements of the rights, duties, and responsibilities as it pertains to business law and the funeral service practitioner.
- Demonstrate proper techniques in the safe preparation of human remains including the use of universal precautions, handling communicable diseases, and embalming both autopsied and un-autopsied remains.
Students who set out to find the perfect mortuary science program may also want to consider the level of flexibility that said program can offer. At Goodwin University, for example, classes are made to be convenient for the working student. We understand that it can be hard to balance school with work and family obligations. Mortuary science classes are offered at night, on-campus, and on a 15-week format. Students may choose to study part-time or full-time, depending on their time constraints.
Get your career started in the Funeral Services and Mortuary Science field, by visiting Goodwin University online or calling 800-889-3282!
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.