The Dead Serious Side of Being a Mortician
Not many people understand a mortician’s job. They are not ghoulish men who thrive on death. They are men and women who carefully prepare bodies for viewing prior to burial or cremation, and assist grieving families in planning the services for their deceased loved ones.
What Else Do Morticians Do?
People wake morticians in the dead of night to pick up a body to be prepared. They have a great deal of paperwork that goes along with their job. They coordinate all the necessary legal documents, help in writing obituaries, organize the arrangements of flowers sent for the families and update their websites with pertinent information regarding the deceased.
Morticians utilize special chemicals, techniques and some everyday cosmetics in order that bodies will be look natural for viewings. They must exercise empathy, focus on the families’ wants and needs, and have the dexterity and organizational skills to handle these varied job duties.
What Are the Educational Requirements for Morticians?
People who want to go into funeral director jobs will benefit much if they take courses in high school that include public speaking, chemistry and biology. They must have an associate’s degree in mortuary science at least, and bachelor’s degrees are preferred. Students will learn about professional ethics, funeral service management, grief counseling, embalming techniques and business law.
New morticians will usually serve apprenticeships that may last for up to three years. Seasoned funeral directors supervise them. Usually, your province or state will require you to secure a license if you with to work as a mortician. Once trained, morticians earn an average salary of $35,000 to $80,000 per year.
There should be about 18% growth in funeral director positions through the year 2020. This is largely due to the aging population in the United States and Canada.
What Are the Legal Aspects of Mortician Work?
Torts in some areas are not clear, but in mortuary arenas, they are simple. Schools will instruct you about issues that may arise in the business of mortuaries.
When you become a mortician, you will have a duty of care, to handle each preparation respectfully and properly. If you violate that duty, it may result in mental injury to someone, or some type of damage to property.
The duty of funeral directors may be difficult to define, and it is not always clear someone breached the duty of care. Using a casket other than the one picked out by the family does no physical damage, but how do you weigh the effect on the family? What if you dress the deceased without some piece of jewelry that has special meaning to the grieving family? It is difficult to determine the value of these failures in duty of care.
Embalming a deceased person for viewing and a funeral has value to the surviving loved ones. Morticians master the technique over time, and there should be no offensive odors present. The memorial service must be meaningful, without distraction, for the family and friends of the deceased.