How to Become a


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

Why We Love It

  • $52,990
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 6.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Working With People
    Career Attribute

Morticians assist grieving friends and family members with funeral preparations. They may perform a variety of tasks, including transporting bodies to funeral homes and gravesites, performing embalming responsibilities, and assisting with administrative tasks—creating obituaries and filing insurance claims.

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What is a Mortician?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in mortician roles:

  • Work with the friends and family members of deceased individuals to plan funerals and showings
  • Transport bodies to funeral homes and gravesites, or to crematories
  • Assist family members with administrative tasks, such as writing obituaries, filing life insurance claims, and transferring pensions and retirement funds
  • Work to prepare bodies for showings and funerals by performing embalming responsibilities or overseeing a hired embalmer
  • Prepare funeral homes for showings and funerals

A Day in the Life

In a funeral home, there are many different roles and responsibilities. In larger funeral homes, there may be a funeral director and an embalmer, but in smaller funeral homes, a mortician may take care of all of the tasks related to funerals. Morticians work with the friends and family members of deceased individuals and perform all of the work related to preparing for funerals and showings. They meet with the deceased’s loved ones and help to choose the time, date, and preparations desired for funerals.

Morticians do a lot of the work for funerals in order to alleviate the burden on grieving loved ones. If a deceased person died in another state, the mortician makes plans to transport the body to the funeral home. Once there, the mortician may perform embalming responsibilities, or he/she may oversee the work of a staff embalmer. The mortician may also make arrangements with a crematory if cremation is chosen by the family. After funerals, the mortician transports the body to a graveyard for burial.

Another important role of a mortician is assisting friends and family with death-related paperwork. The mortician may help write obituaries and schedule them for publication, or he/she may help beneficiaries with filing life insurance claims. In some funeral homes, the mortician also helps beneficiaries transfer pensions, bank accounts, and retirements funds to living persons. The mortician may also be responsible for all accounting and billing tasks, arranging payment plans and billing options with customers.

Typical Work Schedule

Morticians work full-time schedules, and commonly work overtime. The job of mortician is not a 9-5 role—morticians are on-call often to handle emergencies at all hours of the day and all days of the year. They may be required to go out in the middle of the night to transport a body to the funeral home, or they may have to work over holidays to ensure bodies received are preserved before funerals.

Projected Job Growth

Baby Boomers, who are now at or nearing retirement age, were one of the largest generations in recent history. This large, aging population is expected to increase the demand for morticians in the coming decades as more individuals will be needed to support end-of-life arrangements for a large population.

Typical Employers

Most morticians are employed to work for funeral homes. Some may also operate their own small funeral homes and serve as both embalmer and funeral director.

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How To Become a Mortician

To become a mortician, you must earn a mortuary science degree from an accredited mortuary science school. Most of these programs result in associate’s degrees, though bachelor’s degree programs may also be available. Typically, an associate’s degree is an acceptable level of education for securing a job as a mortician. In college, you’ll learn how to perform all roles related to funeral services, taking courses in embalming, grief counseling, funeral service management, and business law.

After graduating from a mortuary science degree program, aspiring morticians must then enter into an apprenticeship program where they gain practical experience by working under an experienced funeral director, mortician, or embalmer. This apprenticeship program usually lasts between one and three years. Most mortuary science schools will work to help students find apprenticeships after graduation, and students can also seek apprenticeships through a local funeral service association or organization.

All states require morticians to be licensed in order to work in their field. Licensing requirements vary by state, but generally require completion of an associate’s degree and between one and three years of experience as an apprentice. After becoming licensed, you’ll be able to find work with local funeral homes as a mortician. To maintain your license throughout your career, continuing education may be required so you can stay up to date on all new techniques used in your field of work.

Mortician 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

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Mortician salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Mortician's can make an average annual salary of $52,990, or $25 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $36,250 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #353 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

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

Highest Education Among Morticians

  • 2.8%   Doctorate
  • 5.5%   Masters
  • 25.5%   Bachelors
  • 32%   Associates
  • 24.3%   College
  • 9.2%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Mortician job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,100 jobs for a total of 33,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #331 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Morticians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Death care services 24,400 2,000 2%
Self-employed workers 5,900 200 0%
Federal government, excluding postal service 400 -100 ---

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