A funeral home is made up of many people with different backgrounds. As a result, there are many different kinds of jobs available in the funeral industry, from funeral director and embalmer to basic accounting, finance, and administrative positions. Securing a job with a funeral home is different than finding employment in any other field.
A funeral home generally requires employees to have a higher education degree. Earn at least a two-year Associate's degree for office-based positions, while funeral director positions typically require a four-year degree in mortuary science. The only exception may be if the funeral home is a family business and the applicant has significant on the job training.
Gain on the job experience. As with most white collar positions, internships and a demonstrated skill set differentiate candidates from the general pool of applicants. Funeral home positions are unique in that experience in practicing the craft is also necessary for all positions. Because of the nature of the business, on-the-job trial and error is frowned upon. Summer jobs and internships can be helpful in gaining experience doing basic and behind the scenes work.
Pass state certifications. Funeral directors have a set list of state certifications that are required to become licensed, so review your state's certifications well ahead of time. For accounting and finance positions, certifications and continuing education can be extremely helpful in separating you from other candidates.
Join professional associations. There are a number of national funeral home or funeral director state associations that exist to further the professional development and growth of the industry and to share best practices. These associations can serve as an invaluable networking source. Review membership lists to find job prospects.
Expect to move. Funeral director jobs can be lifelong positions. To enter into the industry and gain experience, therefore, you may have to move to a new community.
Demonstrate excellence in service and caring. Client families are in a particularly fragile state when they come to a funeral home, so taking care of their needs with the utmost empathy and efficiency of service will guarantee referral business.
Thirty per cent of funeral homes are self-run businesses.
Tips and warnings
- Thirty per cent of funeral homes are self-run businesses.