Funeral Director Training

After obtaining their license, many funeral directors start their careers by becoming a staff member in a funeral home. Persons interested in becoming a funeral director should check with their state’s licensing board to get complete details.

About 50 mortuary science programs, which are typically 2 to 4 years long, have accreditation from the American Board of Funeral Service Education.

Apprenticeships can be served before, during, or after mortuary school. Duration of apprenticeship varies according to state regulations, but they are generally 1 to 3 years long. Apprentices, who can only work with experienced and licensed funeral directors, gain practical experience in all aspects of the funeral service industry.

State board licensing examinations differ, but are usually composed of oral and written sections and require candidates to demonstrate certain practical skills. If a funeral director wants to work in another state, he or she may have to pass that state’s examination.

Reciprocity arrangements do exist between some states; in such instances, funeral directors who change states will be granted a license without having to pass that state’s examinations.

Funeral directors should possess a number of important personal traits, including tact, composure, and the ability to interact comfortably and communicate well with the public. Perhaps most important, funeral directors must want and be able to comfort people during times of grief.

(Reprinted with attribution from: