Dimond And Sons, Silver Bell Chapel

Your Questions

 

What training and education is required for a person to become a licensed funeral director? Are you required to learn embalming in order to be licensed, or does that require separate training?
I'm going to try and answer this in the order you asked. Please keep in mind that in a number of states, funeral directors are licensed in one way, embalmers in another. In yet others, the state issues ONE LICENSE for both descriptions. Some states permit a funeral director to be licensed with as little as taking an examination. On the other hand, Ohio requires a four year college degree to be licensed as a funeral director, with lesser requirements for the embalmer. So in states that license individuals this way you do not have to be an embalmer to be licensed as a funeral director. Becoming an embalmer requires graduation from a college of mortuary science licensed by the American Board of Funeral Service Education, the entity certified by the Department of Education to accredit such institutions. Many of these programs are taught in community colleges with some of the courses overlapped with the nursing program because they are virtually the same. There are still 14 private independent colleges of mortuary science which teach the entire program on their individual campuses. ALL of the programs teach the elements of funeral directing and embalming. It really is important to get that well rounded complete education at a college of mortuary science. There are a lot of people functioning in states with light requirements for an FD license who just do not have the entire picture. When a family asks a funeral director who is not an embalmer what the cause of death on the death certificate means, they usually don't know because they haven't had a course in pathology. The embalmer knows. There are different talents required for these job descriptions. But how can you go wrong with a professional education? You can't. So regardless of what your state requires, I would strongly suggest completion of a course in mortuary science AND completion of your four year degree.

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