“Funeral directors positions attract people who want to put their excellent organizational and communication skills to work and serve others,” according to Copland (2015). Funeral directors have an important part in celebrating the life of those who have passed. From the first call to putting the body in the ground, funeral directors are there every step of the way. It takes education and a certain skill set to attend to the emotions of the deceased families. A funeral director must have certain skills to take on the task of providing the family with emotional support.
Some families might have certain wishes for their loved ones, so funeral directors must be good listeners so they understand what the family is asking for. All funeral workers must learn how to help someone in their time of stress. According to Copland, “Funeral directors must also be comfortable handling the deceased. The nature of the work puts them in higher risk for stress and depression”(2015). It is important to stay positive and strong for the family during the time of their loss.
As stated by Exploring Careers (2015), “ Funeral directors are responsible for all the details related to the funeral ceremony and burial. A main goal of a funeral director is to provide the family with advice and guidance in their time of loss. This is a big reason why funeral directors are very important. Becoming a funeral director doesn’t happen overnight. It is very important to take science, psychology, and sociology during high school. These classes are important because they help prepare you if you decide to major in this career. According to Gale, “An associates degree in mortuary science is the minimum education requirement for all funeral service workers” (Gale, 2014).
It takes hard work in high school and in mortician school to complete the goal of becoming a funeral director. Exploring Careers states that, “Almost all states require funeral service practitioners to have completed postsecondary training in mortuary science varying from nine months to four years” (2015). In all states it is required for all funeral directors and embalmers to be licensed. To continue being licensed most states require you to take continued education classes. Anyone who receives their licenses in embalming or funeral director must serve as a trainee for at least one to three years.
After graduating you must complete a state licensing exam. Most college programs cover courses in pathology, anatomy, psychology and law. As reported by Exploring Careers, “Job prospects for funeral service workers are expected to be good overall and more favorable for those who are licensed as both a funeral director and an embalmer and are willing to relocate”( Exploring ,2015). The more skills a director have under their belt for funeral directing, the more customers they are likely to have. Employment of funeral directing grows as the expected death increases because of population growth (Gale,2014).
This meaning it is easier to find employment in this field of work because as the population grows the death rate rises. After receiving their education in this field, the funeral director must experience taking over a funeral in real life. A funeral begins by receiving the “First Call”, when a family member or medical workers calls a funeral director to let them know that person has passed. The first thing a funeral director does is make arrangement for the body to be sent to the funeral home. The body is then brought to the funeral and washed with a germicidal soap.
After being embalmed and dressed the body gets placed in the casket and is ready for the ceremony. Taking on lots of responsibilities, funeral directors work long hours including evenings and weekends. Their job is to assist the family with any emotional support they need and help prepare funeral arrangements. There are very important steps to preparing a body for a funeral, for example the embalming process. As stated by Gale, “Most morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors embalm bodies.
Embalming is a cosmetic and temporary preservative process through which the body is prepared for viewing or visitation by family and friends of the deceased”(Gale,2014). During this time family member meet and greet each other while viewing their deceased. Many other responsibilities include writing the obituary and setting up the service. They also contact the Social Security Administration, after they complete the paperwork for the death certificate to send it to the state office. Some directors help family in transfer of insurance policies and other funds.
Training is another responsibility that funeral directors must take care of. New junior staff must be well trained for their job, to complete a funeral in a timely and sophisticated manner. Mortuary science technicians help the directors embalm inside the funeral home. Exploring Careers states that, “They usually involved in a training process that will ultimately lead to a job as a licensed funeral director, embalmer, or both” (Exploring,2015). “Mortuary science technicians may also perform duties related to the actual funeral service. They may prepare the casket for the service and transport it to the cemetery.
They also assist in receiving and ushering mourners to their seats at the service, organizations and managing the funeral. According to William, ““The funeral director’s main responsibility is generating profits for the funeral home. Unfortunately, this means the funeral director’s main objective is to increase the amount of money you spend at the funeral home” (William,2015). Even though it’s costly, they still provide the best care for the homegoing of the deceased. Funerals cost more then one would expect, the average total cost of funeral can drain a family of almost ten thousand dollars.
A funeral is very costly because there are many different aspects a family must pay for to take care of their loved ones properly. Here is a cost breakdown of a funeral: Casket- $2,300, Funeral directors service fee’s- $1,500, Embalming & body prep- $600, Funeral Ceremony & Viewing- $1,000, Miscellaneous (hearse, death certificate, obituary, etc. )- $600, Grave Space- $1,000, Grave Digging- $1,000, Headstone- $2,000, Grave Marker- $1,000. Many funeral homes may coordinate the prices of the headstone and cemetery place on behalf of the family.
This is a great convenience, but this can also raise the prices for the family because the funeral director has to pay additional fees. A skilled funeral director with proper planning can help with saving. Most funeral directors can help the family plan and make affordable funeral arrangements. This helps the family realistically reduce their out-of-pocket funeral expense by $3,000 to $5,000. Funeral directors usually work in a office to schedule and plan a funeral. There are many different rooms in the funeral home, such as the chapel, embalming room, living room setting, etc.
According to Gale, “ The mood can be quiet and somber, and the work often is stressful, because workers must arrange the many details of a funeral within 24 to 72 hours of death” (Gale,2014). When deciding to become a funeral director and or mortician it is important to realize that at times it is easy to become distraught because of the environment. As reported by Gale , “ Workers sometimes come into contact with bodies that have contagious diseases, the work is not inherently dangerous if proper safety and health regulations are followed.
Those working in crematories are exposed to high temperatures and must wear protective clothing (Gale,2014). From the first call to putting the body in the ground, funeral directors are there every step of the way. It takes a certain skill set to attend to the emotions of the deceased families. Being in this business takes hard work and dedication, this task is not easy but with a good education and a good mindset you can achieve the level of success one might aim for.