FAQ | How to become a Mortician

Potential students often wonder about the funeral profession, how to become a mortician, and the education it takes to become licensed. Below you will find some commonly asked questions and the answers to them. If you have additional questions, please e-mail info@fmc.edu and we will answer any concerns to the best of our ability.

1. What are the requirements to enter mortuary school?
It is dependent on the school. For FINE, a student has to have earned a high school diploma or passed the GED examination.

2. Do all states require a license to be a funeral service professional?
Most do.

3. Do all states require the minimum of an Associate Degree for licensure?
No, but many states require a minimum of an Associate Degree equivalent. Such is the case in Rhode Island and Massachusetts plus other states. Some states require a Bachelor’s Degree.

4. Do all states require that the student pass the National Board Examination for licensure?No, but most states require that a student pass that exam before taking the State Board Examination.

5. Do all states require an apprenticeship be completed before licensure?
No, but most require that the student serve at least one year as an apprentice and complete a certain number of embalmings.

6. Is mortuary school a rigorous program?
Yes, because it requires knowledge of lots of areas. The basic areas of expertise needed are the social sciences, the hard sciences such as anatomy, pathology, embalming and restorative art, business including accounting and use of the computer plus business and funeral service law.

7. What is the starting salary for an apprentice?
It is quite variable. In New England it usually is from minimum wage per hour through a salary in the mid-20s to low 30s.

8. What is the starting salary for a newly licensed person?
It also is quite variable. However, as a general rule, it is a little less than a beginning teacher. Some funeral homes also give clothing allowances and some have cars available for licensed personnel.

9. How long will it take to finish my mortuary studies?
At FINE the average time for a full time student, without any transfer credits, to finish is 15 -18 months. That is because the College holds classes on a quarter system. FINE classes begin in September, November, February and May. Thus instead of two terms per year, as in most schools (one beginning in September and a second beginning in January), at FINE there are four terms per year. This means a full time student may finish faster at FINE than at most other schools.

10. How many classes a week must I take?
At FINE each class meets one time per week. This differs from most other schools where a student must go to the school for a particular class two or three times per week. At FINE a full-time student can complete four different classes over two consecutive days a week. This allows for a FINE student to spend only one over night away from his/her work or family. For a FINE full-time student weekends are free plus s/he can finish all studies in 15–18 months.

11. Can course credits from other colleges be transferred in FINE?
Usually. Ask FINE for more info

12. Can I request my transcripts from FINE?
Yes, by clicking the following link to see and download the FINE Transcript Request form. FINE Transcript Form

13. Is there placement help at FINE?
Funeral Homes from New England and other states contact FINE with available positions which are posted on the Employment Bulletin Board in the Student Lounge area and often on this website – JOBS. Students and graduates contact the funeral homes directly as FINE has no formal placement department.

14. Are there jobs available in funeral service?
Yes, especially for people with a good work ethic.