What does a Funeral Service Worker do?

Median Pay $56,850
Growth Rate 5%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A funeral service worker manages and organizes the details of a funeral. They work with the families to determine the dates, location, and times of visitations, memorial services, cremations, or funerals. They attend to the administrative aspects pertaining to a person’s death such as submitting proper papers to state officials to receive a death certificate.

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How to Become a Funeral Service Worker

funeral service worker

Funeral service workers typically require an associate’s degree in mortuary science or funeral service. Some employers prefer candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree. Courses would include grief counseling, business law, ethics, and funeral services. All accredited programs would also have classes in restorative techniques and embalming.

Employers look for applicants who are at least 21 years of age, serve a 1-year internship before, during, or after attending mortuary college; and pass a state licensing exam after graduation. Each state has it’s own licensing requirements and they may vary. High school students aspiring to this occupation should take classes in chemistry, biology, and business, as well as public speaking.

Job Description of a Funeral Service Worker

A funeral service worker offers comfort and counsel to the families and friends of the deceased and arrange for the removal of the body. They prepare the remains and determine the location, dates, and time of the visitation, funeral, memorial service, burial, or cremation. They assist families with decisions on whether one is to cremated, entombed, or buried according to their religion and culture.

He or she would file the death certificate and other administrative aspects pertaining to the person’s death, such as insurance claims. A funeral service worker would also provide information on support groups to those in need of further assistance.

Funeral Service Worker Career Video Transcript

For many who aspire to become a funeral service worker, the key to success is by obtaining an associate’s degree in mortuary science. Additionally, funeral service workers are expected to do an apprenticeship of 1-3 years under the guidance of a licensed funeral service professional.

As a funeral service worker, you may need to coordinate funeral services within 24 to 72 hours of death. For many funeral service workers, this means working long, unpredictable hours in the evening and on weekends. For funeral service employees, the work is never truly done.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Funeral Service Workers.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.