Wingrove, Joel - Funeral Director

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[edit] Funeral Director (Mortician)

[edit] General overview

Morticians work in funeral homes performing multiple duties revolving around the planning and execution of various funeral proceedings. Employed by the families of the deceased, they ease the funeral process by taking care of the logistics associated with conducting the funeral and preparation for it. Generally, the mortician is just the principle person handling the body of the deceased [1]. .

[edit] Job duties and responsibilities

The specific tasks of a funeral director include providing emotional support to the grieving family members, plan for the removal of the body, embalming the body, filing a death report and train their workers. Morticians are also involved with the arranging of whether or not the body is to be buried, entombed or cremated. Finally they are involved with administrative duties such as applying for pension transfer, insurance policies, and annuities for the survivors. They work mainly out of the funeral home. The job itself can be very stressful, somber, and quiet regarding time constraints of burying the body. All of which are unique and set a specific challenge related to this job in particular.[2].

[edit] Typical workday

The work is full time and because of the need to have to funeral take place within 24 to 72 hours after death they can be on call and working long hours, even on weekends and evenings.[3]. The clients are the family of the deceased.

[edit] Educational requirements and other qualifications

Licensing requirements vary based on location, but typically a diploma or certificate program in associate’s degree in mortuary science is the minimum education requirement for any funeral service worker, with some areas needing a full bachelors degree. Courses usually include ethics, grief counselling, funeral services and business as well as courses teaching embalming, and restorative techniques. A one to three year apprenticeship or internship is required for licensure, and the candidate must write exam to be fully licensed. High school students looking to become a funeral director may apply to volunteer if they are taking certain courses (sciences, business), but any volunteer work is helpful. Prospective morticians must be eighteen in Canada. Finally to keep licensed you need to maintain education. [4]

[edit] Related skills, interests, and abilities

Sensitivity, compassion as well as interpersonal skills are highly valued for funeral directors. Knowledge about laws and ethics in terms of the funeral service itself and its preparation. Great communication, and people skills is crucial to dealing with the grieving family. Funeral directors should also be emotionally stable and tactful when working so close to death and grief. The planning and executing the job requires high attention to detail, and one to be highly organized. Finally, they should also be impartial or tolerant of different religions and beliefs.[5].

[edit] Relevance of Psychology undergraduate degree

A psychology degree is particularly relevant due to the many courses on anatomy in relation to the actual embalming process. But the most significant factor that comes from a psychology degree is the communication skills. Working with people classes and in general around the university will play a role in the ability to be compassionate and considerate to the bereaved [6]. The many courses on behaviour should also be relevant in gauging appropriate signals and emotional cues to be able to act in a calm and collected manner in stressful situations. Finally, another particular skill has to do with organization and planning which has been a large part in university. Ultimately, though the biggest factor relatable to the psychology degree has to be communication and the ability to concisely and coherently express oneself. Which is at the forefront of every psychology class (i.e. the need to be an effective communicator).

[edit] Salary potential

The salary ranges from about 30,000 to 60,000 with a median income of about 40, 000 [7]. This range depends mainly on demand for funeral directors, for example in metropolitan areas can make upwards of 100,000.

[edit] Job outlook

From 2012 to 2022 prospective jobs is going to increase by twelve percent. This is due to the spike in death expected to take place amongst the largest section of the population (baby-boomers). Secondly, many older people are thought to arranging the funeral services, to reduce the stress of arranging these types of services [8]

[edit] To know more

[edit] Notes and References

  1. Services of Canada. Retrieved from:
  2. Human Resources and Human Development Canada. Retrieved from:
  3. Human Resources and Human Development Canada. Retrieved from:
  4. Ontario Funeral Services Association. Retrieved from:
  5. Services of Canada. Retrieved from:
  6. Educational Requirements for Funeral Directors. Retrieved from:
  7. Services of Canada. Retrieved from:
  8. Career Planner. Retrieved from:
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