NFDA Home > Exploring a Career in Funeral Service
Join our Linked In Group! Follow NFDA on Twitter! Find us on Facebook! Connect with NFDA on Google+ View NFDA's YouTube Channel! View NFDA's Flickr Photostream!

Exploring a Career in Funeral Service

Are you interested in:

  • Helping Others?
  • The Human Biological Sciences?
  • Community Involvement?
  • A Business Environment?

A Funeral Service Professional:

  • Works with the bereaved, providing sensitive, effective intervention during a time of emotional need.
  • Is a professional caregiver who enables families and communities to express their concern for life and the living.
  • Is a motivated man or woman who practices a unique vocation and who is legally required to possess certain professional qualifications.
  • Is involved in a variety of activities within the community.
  • Carries out administrative and logistical tasks required by law, custom and accepted practice.

Duties and responsibilities of a funeral service professional:

  • Provides support to the bereaved during initial stages of their grief.
  • Arranges and directs funeral ceremonies.
  • Arranges for removal of the deceased from the place of death.
  • Prepares the body according to the wishes of the survivors and requirements of the law.
  • Secures information for legal documents.
  • Files death certificates and other legal papers.
  • Assists survivors with details for filing claims for death benefits.
  • Helps individuals adapt to changes in their lives following a death through post-death counseling and support group activities.
Why should you enter funeral service?
  • You are a caregiver who desires to serve others.
  • You believe that ceremony is an effective means of expressing feelings and meeting needs.
  • You are tolerant of ways in which people of different faiths and cultures express their feelings and practice their beliefs.
  • You are interested in the technical sciences.
  • You exhibit sensitivity and compassion for those with whom you are in contact.
  • You are interested in learning all aspects of a business.
Educational Requirements

The following is a summary of basic educational requirements for most states. Please contact the funeral service college of your choice for specific education guidelines.

The funeral service curriculum, approved by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), the United States' funeral service accrediting agency, includes courses in:
  • Public Health and Technical Area - microbiology, anatomy, chemistry, pathology, restorative art and embalming.
  • Business Management Area - business management, funeral arranging, funeral merchandising, funeral home management, computer applications, Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule and accounting.
  • Social Science Area - sociology of funeral service, psychology of grief, funeral directing, history of funeral service, communication skills and counseling.
  • Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Area - business law, funeral service law and regulation and professional ethics.
For more information about Funeral Service Education, click here.

Career opportunities With 20,915 funeral homes in the United States, there is always a need for well trained funeral service professionals. Demand is great for graduates who have prepared themselves for management positions by selecting business and communications courses as part of their college program.