On average funeral directors make anywhere from $15,000 to $85,000 a year. The salary that funeral directors make depends on where they live, how many years of experience they have, and their title. Making a living as a funeral director is more than just setting up flowers and choosing the right casket for someone’s loved one. It’s about understanding people’s needs during one of the most difficult times in their lives. Those with an eye for aesthetics are needed to help families pick out perfect arrangements or urns which showcase their loved one’s life journey. People with business sense are needed to ensure that expenses are kept under control by negotiating deals with vendors and staying on top of finances.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Funeral Director?
A funeral director is a vital profession to the healing process for grieving families. In general, aspiring funeral directors can take courses in mortuary science to prepare them for the level of education and training necessary. This master’s degree will take approximately 4-5 years to complete. Once an individual has obtained this degree, they will need to apprentice at a funeral home and work closely with a licensed director to learn the trade. After this apprenticeship ends, which can last up to five years, one must successfully pass the licensing exam before becoming fully licensed as a funeral director. During this period of study, which may take up to three years, a funeral director must continue to train. That is usually done through attending seminars and courses at the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) or other accredited schools. The funeral director must also meet state-mandated requirements to be awarded their license after receiving their diploma and passing their licensing exam.
Once a funeral director has completed all required training, testing, and education requirements, they can follow one of two paths: either they continue with their career path or they become an administrator in the field of funeral services. Administrators typically have advanced degrees and are commonly employed by companies that own or operate multiple funeral homes in the community.
What Do You Need To Open A Funeral Home?
Here are five critical things that every prospective funeral director should keep in mind when opening their own business.
There are all kinds of insurances you need to have in place before you start running a funeral service business. An umbrella policy for the building, liability insurance for the services you will be offering, and, most importantly, malpractice insurance.
2) Funeral Service Licensing
Just because you’ve been trained in every aspect of this business doesn’t mean that’s enough. Most states have enacted laws that require one to get a license to offer funeral services and ceremonies. That can differ from state to state, so you must do your research and know what you require before going into business.
3) Mortuary Science Certificate
Even if you don’t plan on offering embalming services, it’s a good idea to get the mortuary science certificate when you open your funeral home. It’s almost required by law that you have this knowledge, especially if you’re going to be opening a crematory in your funeral home as well. That ensures that the public will trust your services and have more confidence in your business when they need to use them.
4) Funeral Service Training and Education
While attending a funeral service school is not necessary for every state, it does look more professional for a business owner if they have attended such a school. That also lets people know that they can trust your services. Some states also require you to take a licensing test every two years to show that you’re still well-versed in funeral service and not just going through the motions when it comes to handling this business.
What does the funeral director do?
Funeral directors play many roles that may be overlooked by those outside the field or uneducated about its inner workings. Here’s a look at five roles played by funeral directors.
Few people in the funeral industry understand how much grief and stress family members go through during creating a tribute for a loved one. Grief is, unfortunately, a complicated and unique experience for everyone, but none may understand the stages of grief better than funeral directors. Because they are with grieving family members daily, they become counselors to help them with their psychological journey in dealing with their loss and supporting them through their time of mourning.
2) Media Spokesperson
Not only do funeral directors need to be well-versed in the industry itself, but they also need to be in tune with current events, politics, religion, and other topics that might affect their business. At times, funeral directors may need to act as a public spokespersons for their company. It is common for news media outlets to contact funeral homes when notable figures have died or when important legislation is considered. Whether they are speaking on behalf of themselves or the business as a whole, they need to understand the issues involved so they can deliver sound and respectful responses. They also may present at public events and speak about their work as an orator.
Funeral homes need to be well-run to meet clients’ demands. That means funeral directors need to know how to run a business successfully. They may wear many different hats during their day, but they always will play the role of administrator at some point or another. That includes keeping track of budgets, policies, procedures, inventory, and sales results. Funeral homes also have many human resources issues that may go overlooked due to popular misconceptions about the industry. The staff needs proper training on grief counseling, ethics, public relations, and customer service standards. Funeral directors must effectively train and deliver these important topics through an engaging presentation.
How much do funeral directors make?
On average funeral directors make anywhere from $15,000 to $85,000 a year. The salary that funeral directors make depends on where they live, how many years of experience they have, and their title.
Making a living as a funeral director is more than just setting up flowers and choosing the right casket for someone’s loved one. It’s about understanding people’s needs during one of the most difficult times in their lives. Those with an eye for aesthetics are needed to help families pick out perfect arrangements or urns which showcase their loved one’s life journey. People with business sense are needed to ensure that expenses are kept under control by negotiating deals with vendors and staying on top of finances.
How can you become successful in funeral services?
Build A Trust With The Community
It cannot be overstated how important it is to trust the community to be successful, especially when it comes to difficult conversations about death. Friends and family will likely approach you for more information on their loved one’s passing, so be sure that you’re prepared for that conversation with open ears and an understanding heart. By building trust with the community, the whole process of celebrating their loved one’s life will be easier.
Be Thorough in Your Research
When it comes to any business startup, but especially when it comes to a funeral home, you need to take your time and do your research. The results of putting off a thorough investigation can end up having unintended consequences that are extremely costly and time-consuming. You’ll want to know local demand and how many funeral homes are already in that market. You’ll want to know about the reputation of your competitors and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Also, you’ll want to know if any zoning regulations could prevent you from opening a funeral home in your desired location.
Establish A Solid Plan
You need to have a game plan for how you’re going to reach out to the community, who will work in the funeral home and establish your brand, how you’re going to market yourself, etc. You need to pinpoint exactly what you want your funeral home business model to be and who will be running it.
Put Together A Team
Starting a funeral home will be a huge undertaking, especially regarding financials. That is why you’ll want to put together a team of individuals who have the skills, know-how, and experience you’ll need to make your business a success. However, even if they’re not experienced in funeral services, they should be able to contribute in one way or another. For example, if you’re utilizing a consultant for marketing and promotion purposes, someone who will help with real estate matters, or counsel grieving families on their service options from a religious perspective, this person should be included on the team.
Funeral directors play a critical role in arranging funeral services, burial, and cremation. When they register the death with authorities, they have to pay attention to detail, contact the deceased’s family members and schedule appointments with other vendors like musicians or clergy.