How to Become an Embalmer
Job Duties of an Embalmer
Skills and Qualities of an Embalmer
Influential Professionals in this field
Leading Embalmer Organizations
Top Cities for Embalmer Jobs
Other Careers of Interest
Degree programs in mortuary science last from 2 to 4 degrees and cover a wide range of topics, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, embalming techniques, restorative art, business management, accounting, technology in funeral home management, client services, psychology, grief counseling, oral and written communication, funeral service law, business law, and ethics.
Apprenticeships typically last one year but can be longer and offer practical experience to complement formal education. The apprenticeship can be conducted before, during or after the formal education.
License exams often have written and oral parts and also often include a demonstration of practical skills. Due to the differences between states, one must be properly licensed in the particular state where the work is performed. Some states have license reciprocity agreements.
After licensing, continuing education is required to maintain a license, and there are various state and even national professional organizations that offer and facilitate opportunities to gain this continuing education.
There are two general methods of embalming a body. One method (visceral) places embalming fluids into body cavities. The second method (arterial) pumps fluid through the body's arteries. Usually only one method is used, with the condition/age of the body determining which method is best.
Funeral directors sometimes do the embalming, but they also have other duties, such as handling logistics of services and burials, providing comfort to the bereaved, preparing obituary notices and placing them in newspapers, decorating the funeral service site/grave, making any shipment arrangements if the body is to be buried out of state/country and other related activities.
As of spring 2007, the range of salaries for funeral directors was anywhere between $28,000 - $92,000. The average was about $50,000.
Dr. C.M. Lukins was an embalmer who founded the first school of embalming in the United States, the Cincinnati School of Embalming, in 1882. During 1882 as well, the Funeral Directors National Association of the United States voted to use the name "funeral director" rather than "undertaker," since it was seen as more acceptable to the general public.
The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) is an accreditation agency for post-secondary programs in Mortuary Science Education and Funeral Service, recognized by the United States Department of Education.
International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (ICFSEB) is a US-Canada organization that organizes a large annual conference, among other activities.
To view a list of state licensing boards, visit the National Funeral Directors Association's website.
Funeral services require an unusual blend of art, science and counseling skills. A funeral attendant directs the logistics of a large gathering...
Funeral directors embalm bodies, handle logistics of services and burials, provide comfort to the bereaved, prepare obituary notices and placing...