Direct Cremate

A group of people dressed in black with a funeral director next to a funeral car.

How does a person become a funeral director? How are they different than a mortician? Here are 5 facts everyone should know about funeral directors.
Important Facts About Funeral Directors
A group of people dressed in black with a funeral director next to a funeral car.

The funeral director plays a huge role in the quality of service that a family receives. They have a hand in virtually every aspect of the funeral home’s services. When you’re a funeral director you’re going to be assisting the family in every way during a very difficult period. 

In recent years there’s been an increase in the number of people who are enrolled in mortuary and funeral director programs across the country. It’s not surprising given the focus the death care industry has received since the pandemic. It’s a growing and evolving industry with job security given that death is the one certainty for everyone. 

At some point almost everyone will have to interact with a funeral director. It helps to know a little bit about the profession, including how someone becomes a funeral director. Below are five important facts about funeral directors.

Funeral Directors That Embalm Are Morticians

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a funeral director and a mortician? The difference is the ability to embalm. Funeral directors that are qualified to perform embalming procedures are morticians. 

Embalming is considered a specialized skill that does require additional knowledge. That’s because embalming fluid has ingredients that are known carcinogens, and it must be handled appropriately. 

Funeral Directors Need a Degree or to Complete an Accredited Program

Long ago, death care workers didn’t need special education. They usually learned on the job from others that were experienced. Today, each state has regulations for who can act as a licensed funeral director. There are education requirements that usually involve having a mortuary science degree or completing an accredited funeral director program. Often the education requirements aren’t as intensive for funeral directors as it is for morticians. 

Still, becoming a funeral director takes time. You’d need to have at least 45 instruction credits in funeral services alone. And once you’ve done all the required education you’ll still have to pass the national and state licensure exams. 

Funeral Directors Must Apprentice First

Becoming a funeral director takes a lot of work. In addition to completing a funeral director program, funeral directors must apprentice before they can work on their own. Typically, the apprenticeship lasts anywhere from one to three years. During that time the new graduate will work closely with a funeral director to apply what they’ve learned and gain essential hands-on experience.

Being a Funeral Director is Often a Family Occupation

Funeral homes are businesses, and many people pass their business down to a child. That’s historically been the case with funeral directors. Up until recently, often one of the sons would take over the role of funeral director when their father retired. It’s common for a funeral home to be a full-on family affair with many family members helping out from running the cremation retort to overseeing online marketing campaigns to providing administrative support. 

More Women Are Completing Funeral Director Programs

Handing off the torch to a son is part of the reason so many funeral directors have been men. However, that trend is changing. In 1970, just 5% of funeral director program graduates were female. In 2021 that number had risen substantially and 72% of mortuary school graduates were female. The death care industry is more accessible than ever, so experts expect to see many more women working as funeral directors in coming years. 

At Direct Cremate our funeral director is available to answer your questions and help you make direct cremation arrangements. Call or text us anytime.