What is Funeral Service and Mortuary Science?
Funeral service is ceremony for honoring, sanctifying, respecting, and remembering the life of a person who has passed away. Funeral services the various rites, rituals, and ceremonies that are performed to memorialize a person who has died. A funeral service is a service held to commemorate those no longer with us with the body present. A memorial service, on the other hand, is a service that is held without the presence of the deceased. Both a funeral service and memorial service are ceremonies that attend to the needs of the living by providing an opportunity to honor, grieve, and celebrate the lives of those no longer living in a socially acceptable setting.
Mortuary science is a field of study focused on work with deceased bodies. The term mortuary science is often affiliated with the study of dead bodies in an academic sense. Students studying mortuary science will be trained to step into roles as morticians, funeral directors, or embalmers.
Both funeral service and mortuary science are disciplines that are related services and sciences associated with death. As such, both may be combined by colleges into a singular educational track preparing for a career in the mortuary field.
Educational Requirements in Funeral Service
In terms of educational requirements, Funeral Service and Mortuary Science degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
- English Language
- Business Management
Skills & Abilities Required in Funeral Service
- Speaking clearly and diplomatically
- Instructing others during challenging times
- Reading comprehension of contracts and special requests
- Active listening skills
- Writing clarity with great sensitivity
- Speech clarity & proper diction
- Exceptional oral expression
- Oral comprehension to process requests and grief
- Analytical thinking to solve service issues proactively
- Exceptional written comprehension
Online Colleges Offering Degrees in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science
Mortuary Career & Funeral Service Specializations
Students earning a formal education in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science can expect to generalize in the field or narrow their focus on a singular specialization. Specializations available can include a number of career opportunities. Examples of career pathways in mortuary science include: office manager, funeral director, mortician, auditor, embalmer, human resource manager, sales director, training manager, teacher, advertising specialist, marketing manager, counselor, cost estimator, social psychologist, and social worker.
Job Growth in Funeral Service
The job growth in mortuary science and funeral service are projected to be quite steady. In fact, a recent survey by the U.S. Department of Labor and BLS indicate a 5% rise in employment for funeral directors in the coming decade. Compensation for funeral service managers and morticians will vary by location and prior experience. However, the BLS estimated the median annual income of a funder service manager at $78,040 and a mortician at $51,850. The income range for both career tracks span between twenty-nine thousand dollars a year and $140,000 a year. Thus, it is important to know your market and adjust compensation expectations accordingly.
For additional information about the funeral science industry, trade associations such as the NFDA may be a institution worth researching. Associations and organizations such as these provide tools, resources, insights, and networking opportunities for professionals in the field providing a common bond plus a platform for career enhancement.