Become a Mortician
By Eric Hammer
While it may seem like an unusual profession, the fact is
that becoming a mortician is actually a very lucrative way to
make money and it's largely recession proof. After all, people
don't stop dying just because the economy is bad. In fact, if
you were interested in becoming a mortician, you'd be able to
make a decent living regardless of where you happen to be.
Of course, mortuary work isn't for everyone. It's the kind
of work that (obviously) involves working with dead bodies and
comforting the bereaved. This kind of work also requires a strong
stomach as you will not always be dealing with the bodies of
those who have recently passed away and you will need to prepare
those bodies for burial as well. Occasionally, you may also be
called upon to try to reconstruct a body after the person died
in a horrible accident, such as a fire or gunshot wounds. This
is because families will often want to have an open casket so
that they can have a viewing so that friends and family are able
to say goodbye to the deceased.
However, if you can get past that, a mortician is actually
a very noble profession and one which will allow you to always
find work in your chosen field.
How Much Can You Make?
According to salary.com, the average mortician makes between
$39,000 and $58,000 per year. The amount you make will of course
vary based on where in the country you happen to be living.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Keep in mind that as a mortician you are going to be called
on to know a number of different things. While you'll generally
call on the services of a makeup artist to help with preparing
a body for a public viewing, you will need to know the basics
of how to prepare a body for burial. Often, this will include
embalming the body in formaldehyde, something which many states
will require you to know how to do.
It is also important to remember that even though you are
in the bereavement business, you are engaged in salesmanship
as well. This means that you need to be able to explain the benefits
of various caskets and be able to help a family to choose appropriate
services offered by your funeral home in addition to being able
to remain somber and not sounding like a used car salesman.
Those interested in this kind of work may also find other
positions in the funeral industry, including jobs such as casket
dealer, cemetery director and bereavement counselor. The job
of a mortician generally involves being a bit of all these though.
Qualifications / Requirements
All states require that morticians take a licensing exam in
order to become a mortician. Generally, states also require that
you take about two years of mortuary classes and do a one year
apprenticeship in order to become fully licensed as a mortician.
Start by checking out some mortuary schools and finding out
about their rates. Consider as well contacting local funeral
homes and talking to some funeral directors about the business.
Most are happy to explain the ins and outs of becoming a mortician
and will share their knowledge freely. You may even be able to
observe as bodies are prepared in the funeral home so that you
can get a better idea of what's involved in doing this job.
Wise Geek: How Do I Become a Mortician - A good
basic introduction to the business of being a mortician.