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Career profile Mortician

Also known as Funeral Arrangement Director, Funeral Arranger, Funeral Counselor, Funeral Director, Funeral Location Manager, Funeral Pre-Need Consultant, Funeral Prearrangement Counselor, Licensed Funeral Director, Licensed Mortician, Mortician

Mortician

Also known as Funeral Arrangement Director, Funeral Arranger, Funeral Counselor

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Social
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$29,080 - $91,140 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administration and Management
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Obtain information needed to complete legal documents, such as death certificates or burial permits.
  • Consult with families or friends of the deceased to arrange funeral details, such as obituary notice wording, casket selection, or plans for services.
  • Perform embalming duties, as necessary.
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What does a Mortician do?

Morticians perform various tasks to arrange and direct individual funeral services, such as coordinating transportation of body to mortuary, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, aiding with the selection of officials for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.

What kind of tasks does a Mortician perform regularly?

Morticians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Obtain information needed to complete legal documents, such as death certificates or burial permits.
  • Consult with families or friends of the deceased to arrange funeral details, such as obituary notice wording, casket selection, or plans for services.
  • Perform embalming duties, as necessary.
  • Oversee the preparation and care of the remains of people who have died.
  • Remove deceased remains from place of death.
  • Contact cemeteries to schedule the opening and closing of graves.
  • Arrange for clergy members to perform needed services.
  • Provide information on funeral service options, products, or merchandise, and maintain a casket display area.
  • Offer counsel and comfort to bereaved families or friends.
  • Maintain financial records, order merchandise, or prepare accounts.
  • Close caskets and lead funeral corteges to churches or burial sites.
  • Plan, schedule, or coordinate funerals, burials, or cremations, arranging details such as floral delivery or the time and place of services.
  • Inform survivors of benefits for which they may be eligible.
  • Provide or arrange transportation between sites for the remains, mourners, pallbearers, clergy, or flowers.
  • Direct preparations and shipment of bodies for out-of-state burial.
  • Plan placement of caskets at funeral sites or place or adjust lights, fixtures, or floral displays.
  • Discuss and negotiate prearranged funerals with clients.
  • Clean funeral home facilities and grounds.
  • Arrange for pallbearers or inform pallbearers or honorary groups of their duties.
  • Receive or usher people to their seats for services.
  • Participate in community activities for funeral home promotion or other purposes.

The above responsibilities are specific to Morticians. More generally, Morticians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

What is a Mortician salary?

The median salary for a Mortician is $54,100, and the average salary is $59,000. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Mortician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Morticians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Morticians earn less than $29,080 per year, 25% earn less than $40,100, 75% earn less than $71,530, and 90% earn less than $91,140.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Morticians is expected to change by 4.4%, and there should be roughly 3,100 open positions for Morticians every year.

Median annual salary
$54,100
Typical salary range
$29,080 - $91,140
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
4.4%

What personality traits are common among Morticians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Mortician are usually higher in their Enterprising, Social, and Conventional interests.

Morticians typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Morticians typically have strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Lastly, Morticians typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Mortician tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Morticians very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Morticians strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Morticians moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Morticians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as concern for others, attention to detail, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Morticians, ranked by importance:

Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Morticians need?

Morticians often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Morticians usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Morticians

  • 3.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 8.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 17.2% completed some college coursework
  • 37.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 25.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 4.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Morticians

Morticians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, administration and management, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Morticians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Important Abilities needed by Morticians

Morticians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Morticians need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Morticians, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Morticians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Morticians frequently use skills like social perceptiveness, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Morticians, ranked by their relative importance.

Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.