There aren’t many people that wake up one day deciding that they want to be a funeral director. Let’s be honest, it’s a pretty macabre job and one that puts a lot of pressure on you emotionally. Most people get into it because they are born into the family business – that way they are used to everything that is involved from a very early age.
If you think you can handle yourself emotionally, then it can be a very satisfying job. You are, after all, providing a service to mourners that are heavily reliant on you. If you can help take some of the pressure off them at what is a very upsetting time, then you are doing some good. If you can take a pragmatic approach to death and you seriously believe you can handle some pretty grim tasks, then it’s time to find out more about what a funeral director’s responsibilities are:
Providing an essential service
Funeral directors are responsible for overseeing the administration of the death, and then the planning and organizing of the funeral service. This includes advising on burials and cremations, as well as legalities and practicalities. You’ll need to be a people-person with great social skills, and a high level of tact as well as customer service. You’ll need the right level of empathy with your clients in order for them to know that you really care. There is a lot of administration involved with a death so you’ll need to be organized and thorough in your record-keeping.
A good mediator
As a funeral director you will be the middle man between lots of people. This includes the deceased’s friends and family, the church or venue where the service is to be held, the council and any medical professionals or insurance companies involved. You will need to be at ease going in and out of morgues and be comfortable handling dead bodies. It’s important that the family know they can come to you with any questions or worries they have – nothing should be too much trouble.
Many funeral directors are also embalmers. This is the process of protecting the dead body so that its deterioration is slowed down. This ensures that the body is still in an acceptable condition at the time of burial or cremation. If you are thinking about being a funeral director then you will need to be prepared to carry out embalming. It’s not for the faint-hearted so think really carefully about whether or not you could handle this. You may be able to get some work experience at local funeral directors to see how you cope. It’s better to find out sooner rather than later if it’s not for you.
Qualifications and Salary
Most funeral directors require their staff to be over 21 years old, and hold a degree in mortuary science or an equivalent and relevant degree. You will usually be an apprentice for a year to learn the trade. You should expect to be rewarded well for your work – the pay is high to reflect the fact that not many people could handle it.
About the Author:
Today’s featured writer, Shane Ted, is a seasoned mortician and provides cremation services in New Havern, CT. He fully understands the rigors of his profession and through his blogs counsels all those who want to be a funeral director in future.Funeral training services