A funeral director provides support and guidance to the family during their time of grief and helps them in all capabilities to arrange a proper funeral. He also has to work with many other organizations to make sure the funeral service is carried forward smoothly without any problems. Funeral directors are also referred to as undertakers or morticians and are mostly practicing embalmers, i.e. they preserve the body properly before the funeral service.
To get the job of a funeral director, you need to get a degree in mortuary science. There is a two or four-year of programs on that. After that, you would require a license from the authority, which is compulsory to conduct such task. Getting a license, you need to do one year of internship, two years of education, and a passing score on a state level examination.
This defers from place to place, for example, the state of Washington in the USA needs 1800 hours of internship, 25 family arrangements and 90 college credits before getting your license. In the United States of America, the median salary for a funeral director is close to fifty thousand dollars and this is a position where the salary is supposed to increase in the next ten years. The funeral directors obviously have many responsibilities.
Here are Some of them in Brief:
- They have to transfer the deceased from their home to the funeral home or assist the family in keeping the body at their home before the funeral.
- They have to make adequate arrangements for the friends and family to view the deceased before the funeral.
- They have to deal with all the paperwork, which involves death certificates and funeral budgets.
- Place obituaries in newspapers so that people are notified to come to the funeral.
- They have to arrange any musical groups on request of the family for the funeral.
- They have to arrange for catering and transportation of body at the request of the family at a venue of their choice.
- They have to accept donations for a charity instead of flowers on the family’s behalf.
- Print and arrange Order of Service sheets for the funeral.
- They have to accept floral tributes on behalf of the family and order floral tributes of their own, as well.
- Offer different choices of coffins and caskets to the family for them to choose or get one made on individual request from coffin makers.
- They help the families to arrange for the ashes to be scattered or for them to be kept in a memorial urn.
- Arrange the transportation of the deceased or the cremated remains to another part of the country if needed on request of the family or the deceased before his death.
- They arrange thank you or obituary cards for everyone.
- Other than during a death, the funeral director also advises you before a death by providing support and guidance and make plans for the funeral beforehand.
- They can provide information on prepaid funerals for yourself and note down. And, later arrange for any special wishes or requests that you may have for your funeral.
The job of a funeral director does not just involve dealing with dead bodies and their cremation. Funeral directors go years without having to see a dead body because most of their work includes paperwork, at least ninety percent of it. They have to arrange the funeral based on a budget given by the family, they have to manage the death certificates and licenses, and different other sorts of permits. They have to manage the chain of events so that it goes smoothly without the family getting involved in the entire complex process at a time of mourning.