The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for morticians or funeral directors will increase by 12 per cent between 2008 and 2018, due to the continued ageing of the U.S. population. To obtain a license to work in the field, prospective funeral directors must receive a degree in mortuary science. A number of schools in the United States carry accreditation from the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).
Northampton Community College
Established in 1967, Northampton Community College carries the accreditation of both the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the ABFSE. More than 35,000 students take courses at the college's campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania each year. The college grants an Associate of Applied Science degree in funeral service education. The program requires two years of full-time study to complete. Classes in the program include biology, embalming, pathology, funeral home operations, cosmetology and accounting. All students complete two embalming clinical rotations during the program. Approximately 90 per cent of all students who graduate from Northampton find employment in their field within one year after receiving their diplomas, according to the college's website.
Northampton Community College 3835 Green Pond Rd. Bethlehem, PA 18017 610-861-5388 northampton.edu
American River College
With the accreditation of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the ABFSE, American River College is a public institution located in Sacramento, California. Serving 35,000 full and part-time students, the college grants an Associate of Science degree in funeral services education. The two-year course of study requires students to complete classes in anatomy, introductory funeral service education and college composition prior to enrolling. Among the courses in the curriculum are restorative art, funeral directing, embalming, merchandising, law and ethics, counselling, pathology and management. One internship is mandatory for graduation. Job placement assistance is available for all graduates.
American River College 4700 College Oak Drive Sacramento, CA 95841 916-484-8350 arc.losrios.edu
St. Petersburg College
The southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the ABFSE both accredit St. Petersburg College, a public institution in Pinellas Park, Florida. Prior to enrolling in the college's Associate of Science in funeral services, students must complete coursework in world cultures, oral or written communications, humanities, mathematics, ethics, behavioural science and computer literacy. Based on a two-year program, the curriculum requires admitted students to take classes in accounting, anatomy, infectious diseases, law, funeral service computing, funeral directing, thanatology and thanatochemistry, embalming, management and operations and pathology. Students complete two part-time and one full-time embalming clinical practicum as well as a laboratory course in restorative arts. The college boasted an 89-per cent pass rate on state board examinations annually from 2007 through 2009, according to the ABFSE.
St. Petersburg College 7200 66th St. N. Pinellas Park, FL 33781 727-341-3781 spcollege.edu