Funeral services require an unusual blend of science, art, and counseling skills. A funeral director counsels the bereaved, helps them arrange funeral ceremonies, files death certificates and other legal papers, and directs the logistics of a large gathering of people at an emotionally difficult time. An embalmer uses scientific skill to restore and preserve the body of the deceased, plus cosmetic and reconstructive skills to make the body a realistic "life portrait" of the deceased. Graduates of this program may serve as both embalmers and funeral directors.About Mortuary Science Schools
Mortuary schools teach a specialized field of work that provides crucial services to every community. There are not as many professions that are as highly needed and respected as those of funeral service providers. Directors are local caregivers that provide advice and compassion to individuals and families in crisis. Funeral directors can be found in and around every community in the US.
Mortuary school students are trained to learn the basics of mortuary sciences that include the correct and legal ways to move and store human remains. They must also know about certain procedures like embalming, burials and cremations. Each procedure is controlled by specific local, state and federal regulations.Mortuary and Funeral Services Careers
Mortuary technicians are not expected to pursue typical fulltime careers from Monday to Friday. Higher level technicians are usually required to stay at the funeral home and help with a range of tasks. They have to remain on-call every now and then so that they can make pickups and deliveries. Technicians have gone through entire training programs and have already tested their abilities to deal with the large amount of stress that involves the dead and their grieving families. They have proven the ability to show care, respect and caution for decreased people and their families. Other skills like organization are also important in addition to knowing how to handle human remains. This unique career combines various elements of science, counseling, and organization.
Mortuary Education Information
Programs that provide mortuary training are available at community colleges, four-year colleges and universities. In community colleges, students receive associate degrees and have to undergo one-year funeral home residencies before they can pursue entry-level careers. Bachelor degrees are awarded in mortuary science. Four-year students learn about all of the aspects of funeral service so that they acquire the skills and knowledge needed. These degrees require at least four years of schooling that start with two years of liberal arts studies. Part of any program includes gaining hands-on training. This means that prior to graduation, students have to go to at least one funeral home, cemetery, mortuary, casket maker or crematorium as a visitor or intern.
Mortuary training courses include lectures that discuss community relations, different types of grief and children's reaction to death. Typical courses include funeral practices and procedures, health sciences, state and federal rules, business law, psychology, microbiology, embalming and religious studies. Mortuary science learners should only select accredited schools that meet state licensure demands.
Most mortuary schools offer student loans, as well as other forms of financial aid; there are less than five exceptions nationally. In most cases, mortuary schools are simply a separate program of a community college or state college. Since they have this beneficial status, it affords them the ability to extend federal student aid and private scholarships.
Students attending a mortuary science program at any college - or most independent mortuary schools - will qualify for the same awards they would if they were attending full or part-time in other courses offered at that institution. Sometimes the initial award isn't the maximum amount allowed; if more aid is needed for federal student loans, simply request the maximum. In most cases, the maximum is enough to cover tuition and possibly even books. Students will also be able to qualify for free federal Pell grants for mortuary school. The ABFSE, which is the accrediting board for mortuary schools, often posts links on their website for additional private scholarships, which are only offered to mortuary school students.
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