All You Ever Wanted to Know About Morticians


Morticians provide important services needed by families at critical times. When a loved one dies, families need someone skilled in embalming and preparing the body for funeral, as well as present the different options available for the final resting place of the deceased. Morticians are familiar with the different state and city laws involved in transporting and burying a dead body. They handle all the paperwork and help ease the grief experienced by the bereaved. They are on-call 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, every day of every year. The details of a mortician service include:

  • Picking up the body
  • Arranging flowers and displays in the parlor
  • Embalming
  • Preparing the burial site
  • Publishing notices of death in the newspaper and other media
  • Handling visitors and other mourners
  • Meeting with the family
  • Selecting the casket
  • Working with religious guides in arranging the funeral or other memorial services
  • Providing guidance for the pall bearers or others involved in the service
  • Arranging the transportation of the body to another location if necessary

Typically, a family calls a local funeral home when someone has died. Then, the funeral director collects the body from the house, hospital or other location and transports it to their place of business. The body is washed, embalmed, dressed and if necessary, made presentable for viewing. He or she may also help with the selection of a casket and burial site or arrange for cremation through undertaken mortician services. This includes assisting the family with the filing of needed paperwork for the settling of the deceased's affairs, such as acquiring the death certificate. An undertaker also assists the family in arranging the memorial or funeral with the direction of the family's religious advisor, i.e. pastor, priest, or rabbi. Morticians work alongside the family and handle the details the family is unable to arrange or needs the funeral director to provide.

The specifics of licensing vary from state-to-state. It is recommended that those who have undertaken the mortician's role to have a knowledge of anatomy, cosmetology, business administration, chemistry and biology. It is also recommended to have some knowledge of psychology and sociology so that a funeral director can be empathetic and able to minister to those experiencing grief. This may be available as an associate's degree requiring only two years of study or a more intense four-year college degree in Mortuary Science. There are mortician schools in every state. After obtaining a degree, some years as an apprentice may also be required. While the income of a funeral director varies from place to place, the median income in the U.S. is about $45,000.

March 15, 2017

By Funeral Home Resource