Expect to spend 20 percent of your time with the deceased, and 80 percent with the living. Funeral Director/Embalmers perform a variety of tasks, including the arranging of the funeral, preparation of the deceased, meeting with the public during calling hours, and being active in the community for both public service and public relations. There is a substantial amount of paperwork involved for record keeping and federal and state regulations.
Typically, a funeral director/embalmer works at a funeral home. Small homes, doing 70-120 funerals per year, will have varying work hours dependent on the availability of a funeral. Generally, funeral directors will work a 40-hour week including evenings, weekends, and on-call hours.
Employment of funeral service workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Those who are licensed as both funeral directors and embalmers and are willing to relocate should have the best job opportunities.
Most states require an associate degree in funeral service, passing a national examination, serving an apprenticeship of one to two years, and passing of state law and practical exams. The apprenticeship may be served before or after schooling, depending on the state. In Connecticut the apprenticeship must be served after finishing the educational and national exam components.
Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut. Prerequisite: Connecticut requires completion of an approved Funeral Director program; National Board Examination of the Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards; one year of acceptable practical training; Connecticut laws and regulations examination.
National Funeral Directors Association
13625 Bishop’s Drive
Brookfield, WI 53005