How to Become a

Mortuary Manager

The complete career guide to be a Mortuary Manager: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $84,470
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 3.4%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

The role of a mortuary manager is to efficiently coordinate day-to-day operations of a mortuary. This may involve supervising other staff and overseeing their training for post mortem examinations and other work.


What is a Mortuary Manager?

Duties

Your duties as a mortuary manager include the following tasks:

  • Track financial documentation, state required documents and activity reports to assess opportunities for cost optimization and streamlined services.
  • Monitor routine maintenance and repair of equipment on the premises to make sure they are used in accordance with health or safety regulations.
  • Take part in public events such as presentations or discussions to promote awareness of the services provided by the mortuary.
  • Take charge of procuring chemicals, consumables or materials required for multiple purposes like embalming, as per statutory procurement policies.
  • Coordinate with important networks such as the cosmetologists, death certificate clerks, funeral director, the bequeathal secretary, crematorium and other agencies.

Day in the Life

Being a mortuary manager is not for everyone but professionals in this field are experts at providing highly valued services for a grieving family and friends. The work environment can be sombre and the smell can be repulsive, but it is an offbeat career that can give you a sense of fulfilment as well. You are an integral part of helping a family come to terms with a death, by making their loved ones look as close to how they are remembered in life.

Depending on the type of job, you may be analyzing and embalming cadavers for medical research, removing organs with scalpels before a pathologist conducts an autopsy, arranging a well-planned funeral service and managing other logistics for a funeral. You may have to be alerting clergy members to officiate a funeral, maintaining a high level of cleanliness on the funeral home or mortuary premises, preparations for an out-of-state burial, etc.

Work Schedule

Mortuary managers have to work long days which includes weekends, holidays and evenings. Most positions are full-time and one must be comfortable being on-call as per demand. The work environment is usually quiet and you will spend most hours in solitude with tools such as a scalpel, a needle and thread. Managing multiple funerals within 24 to 72 hours can be stressful and requires quick thinking. While you may be in direct contact with a body that has some disease, the work is low risk so long as you take the right precautions with protective gear.

Growth of the Job

As stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professions such as mortuary managers can expect to see a 7% growth in job opportunities between 2014-2024 – as fast as the average for other professions. Being a licensed funeral director or embalmer will work in your favour for high end job opportunities. You must also be willing to relocate for strong job prospects. Alternative career paths include being a coroner or social worker.

Typical Employers

Mortuary managers work at large and small-scale funeral homes, forensic mortuaries, mortuary facilities established in collaboration with medical sciences research, etc. You may also choose to pursue an academic career as a mortuary science instructor to prepare students as embalmers, mortuary technicians and funeral directors.


How To Become a Mortuary Manager

Most mortuary managers hold at least an associate’s degree in a related field (i.e. biology, mortuary sciences, medical sciences), before embarking on a career in mortuary sciences. All states require those in senior positions such as mortuary manager, to eventually become licensed although the qualifications for this training might differ. Skills that are important in mortuary managers are a familiarity with computer programs, an approachable demeanour, technical and numeracy skills and the ability to work with a team as well as independently. You should ideally have a full driving license as well.

Completing a mortuary science program can take up to four years and result in a coveted associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Community colleges usually offer associate’s degree programs while universities and colleges provide more in-depth study that leads to a bachelor’s degree. The coursework can include chemistry, restorative art, bereavement counselling, embalming techniques, anatomy and sanitary science. Some programs also include the basics of legal and ethical methods of arranging funerals.

Apprenticeships are a good way to immerse yourself in this line of work, with direction from an experienced supervisor. Mortuary managers may complete a one year apprenticeship during or after their degree program in mortuary sciences. Once you bag a position in this job sector, continuing education is vital to maintain your licenses going forward.


Mortuary Manager Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$53,280

Average

$84,470

High Range

$142,750

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$26/hr

Average

$41/hr

High Range

$69/hr

How do Mortuary Manager salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Mortuary Manager's can make an average annual salary of $84,470, or $41 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $53,280 or $26 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #120 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Mortuary Manager. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among Mortuary Managers

  • 3.6%   Doctorate
  • 17.2%   Masters
  • 35.1%   Bachelors
  • 8%   Associates
  • 19%   College
  • 14.4%   High School
  • 2.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

29,300

2024 Est. Jobs

30,300

Job Growth Rate

3.4%

Est. New Jobs

1,000

How does Mortuary Manager job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 1,000 jobs for a total of 30,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #505 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most Mortuary Managers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 20,700 900 1%
Death care services 8,200 100 0%
Private households 200 --- ---

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