For some people, their professional life is just a job and nothing more. For others, they want their career to have meaning. They want to make a real difference in peoples’ lives and help see them through difficult times. If you fall into the latter category, you may be perfect for the role of funeral service director.
Mortuary science, also called funeral service, is a very misunderstood field. Despite what some may think, this career is not just about working with the deceased. Rather, mortuary science offers incredibly rewarding, impactful work, and allows you to work with people in need. Choosing to study mortuary science means you are choosing to help loved ones find closure and say goodbye – a painful, but very important step in the human experience. Loss is inevitable and death is simply a part of life. Those who choose to work in this field are fulfilling a very important service that is needed by all.
If you are considering this field, you may be wondering, “Why study mortuary science?” Read on, as we explore the top seven reasons you will want to pursue a degree in this rewarding and fascinating field of study.
7 Reasons to Study Mortuary Science
- No day is the same – There is great variety in this role.
Mortuary science is a multifaceted career path, which means your day-to-day duties can vary. Similarly, there is great variety in the topics you will study in this type of program. Of course, it may come as no surprise that there is a science component. Mortuary science is, by definition, the study of deceased bodies, particularly with respect to their burial and the bereavement of their families. The types of science courses covered in a mortuary science program include:
- Human Biology
- Humans and Disease
- Restorative Art
The term “mortuary science” is often used in postsecondary education programs in reference to preparing students for their work as funeral directors or morticians. These professionals also wear a second hat as business managers. They typically run the daily operations of the funeral home and must know how to manage costs, oversee staff, file important paperwork, and much more. It is important to have some basic educational background in business. Courses you may find in a mortuary science program include:
- Introduction to Management
- Funeral Service Management
- Funeral Service Law
- Funeral Service History and Merchandising
In addition, funeral service directors and morticians are responsible for helping the people that enter the doors of the funeral home. They may serve as confidants, or become a shoulder to lean on as family members grieve their loss. In this way, mortuary science also involves human services, as you will be helping people through some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives.
- Hands-on training will be available to you.
Aside from the practical knowledge you can gain in a mortuary science program, you will gain hands-on experience that will help you launch your career. In Connecticut, aspiring funeral service directors must have at least an associate degree in mortuary science from an accredited college before pursuing a career in the field. They must also have assisted in at least 50 embalming operations before becoming licensed. This can be done through a hands-on apprenticeship program, like the one offered at Goodwin University.
Goodwin’s teaching philosophy blends classroom learning with hands-on laboratory training. This gives students the opportunity to practice – and master – techniques like:
- Restoring and preparing bodies
- Handling disease
Once you have earned your degree, you will be ready to sit for the American Board of Funeral Service Education’s national board examinations. This will allow you to secure a paid apprenticeship. Once your apprenticeship is complete, you will be eligible to sit for your state’s credentialing exam and start your new career.
- By studying mortuary science, you will gain invaluable skills.
If you are interested in a career in mortuary science, you may already know what is required of these professionals. It is important to have a deep sense of compassion and empathy when choosing a role in this field. You already have the desire to help others, but you will need to hone the skills that will help you work with clients who are coping with the profound loss of a dear loved one. In a mortuary science school, students study human service and social science courses, such as:
- Psychology of Death and Dying
- Funeral Service Communication (at Goodwin University, students in this course practice communication with the bereaved in a workshop setting)
Your ability to work well with others will prove just as valuable as the science and business education that you gain in a funeral service program.
- There is flexibility in a degree program.
Becoming a funeral service director or mortician does take time. However, rest assured there are flexible programs available to you. When considering postsecondary education, it is important to consider how it will fit into your life. The funeral service program at Goodwin University is all about flexibility. Classes can be taken part-time or full-time, and are offered in the evenings, for added convenience.
- The career opportunities are plentiful and meaningful.
While it may seem like a straightforward career choice, you are not locked into one career path with a mortuary science degree. Once you have completed your degree program and passed those national and state board exams, you will be prepared for a variety of mortuary science careers, such as:
- At-need and pre-need consultants
- Funeral service directors
- Funeral service practitioners
- Mortuary transporter
All of the above career options have meaning and purpose in their day-to-day, and in the greater field of mortuary science. No matter which career path you choose within this field, you can be sure you will have an important, impactful role.
- You will have support beyond the classroom.
When you choose to pursue a mortuary science degree at Goodwin University, you will be entering a network of support for life. The Career Services Team at Goodwin helps students and graduates find their dream job and all the services offered are included in tuition. Whether you need help writing your resume and cover letter, need some connections with organizations in your chosen field of interest, or could use some help with interviewing, the Career Services Team can help. With this kind of support, you are sure to find a career in funeral service that you love.
- There is high salary potential in the field of mortuary science.
Upon completion of a mortuary science program, you will be prepared to take on a rewarding career helping families in need. However, did you also know that there is great professional reward within this field? On average, funeral service workers make about $54,150 annually in the United States. Funeral home managers, however, earn over $76,000 annually.
Connecticut is the top-paying state for funeral service workers, morticians, and undertakers, with the average annual salary exceeding $134,000 per year. Funeral home managers, similarly, make over $118,000 in Connecticut annually. If you choose to pursue a mortuary science role in the state of Connecticut, you can expect to make a comfortable living for years to come.
Are you ready to begin your career path in mortuary science? Contact Goodwin University at 800-889-3282 to find out why we’re a leading mortuary science school in Connecticut. Or, visit us online to request more information about our funeral services program.
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.