How Can A Person Become A Funeral Director?

How can a person become a funeral director?

Becoming a funeral director will take great personal strength, commitment, and knowledge. Not everyone has the emotional stability to deal with people during times of sorrow and grief. If you feel you have the compassion and professionalism to become a funeral director, you can begin the process by studying mortuary science.

Study Mortuary Science

Mortuary science is usually a two or four year program that includes a challenging final exam. It will teach you the importance of building relationships with families without developing any personal or emotional attachment, as well as how to plan and execute a funeral.  

Every funeral will be different due to religious beliefs, personal preferences, and the circumstances that caused the person to pass away. A mortuary science program will teach you how to handle many different scenarios with respect and compassion. It will also cover a funeral director’s responsibilities in regards to the health, safety, and sensitivity required when you are caring for human remains.

Participate in an Apprenticeship Program

Once you have completed the mortuary science, the next step is to join a funeral service apprenticeship program. If there is not one available, you can also volunteer at a funeral home. This will give you an opportunity to work firsthand with recently deceased bodies and grieving families. It is not an easy profession to handle, which is why an apprenticeship is so important.

You will also be required to obtain a funeral director’s license. This will also require an exam, as well as proof that you successfully graduated from the mortuary science program. You will not be able to legally perform a funeral director’s duties without this license.

Evaluate Your Emotional Strength

The death of a loved one is normally a traumatic and stressful time for the family and friends who truly loved the deceased. A funeral director is there to make the process easier by providing emotional support and guidance. They cannot allow their own feelings to get in the way of helping others.

Everyone deals with death differently and a funeral director will need to adapt to each family’s needs. The focus is always on upholding either the deceased (if the funeral was pre-planned) or the family’s wishes with dignity and professionalism.

Funeral Director Skill Set

Part of the responsibilities of planning a funeral is being able to organize and execute. Every funeral director needs to be able to meet with families, take detailed notes of what they would like to happen, and then make sure that every aspect of it is carried out. Funeral directors need to be well-organized, good time managers, and effective communicators.

Technically, anyone can become a funeral director with the right education, but it takes a mature and responsible person to do it well. Start by enrolling in a mortuary science program to make sure it is something you can comfortably handle. If the post-secondary education was successful, volunteer or join an apprenticeship program at a funeral home and apply for your license.

Funerals are a fact of life and the world needs more compassionate and caring funeral directors to make these difficult times more bearable. If it is something you feel emotionally strong enough to do, it is one of the greatest ways to help your fellow man.


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Becoming A Funeral Home Director
  • Study Mortuary Science to learn the importance of building relationships with families without developing any personal or emotional attachment
  • Join a Funeral Service Apparenticeship Program in order to gain firsthand experience with recently deceased bodies and grieving families. 
  • Evaluate your emotional strentgh in order to make sure that you are able to adapt to each family's needs.