Not as Fancy as it seems: Being a Mortician
There is little doubt that television programs like “Bones” or “Body of Proof has glamorized the mortician profession. Each week, a new episode demonstrates some of the job requirements of morticians, but often glosses over the educational requirements in favor of more entertaining situations.
Because of these television programs, there is a remarkable interest in forensics and morticians across the country. However, a mortician job today is in many ways quite different than how it is depicted on TV. It requires a keen interest in a subject that many people find depressing and an educational background complete with plenty of skills and specialties.
Many who become morticians have reported being “called” to the task rather than having a childhood interest as typical of so many other professions. In fact, many morticians come from all types of backgrounds and often have little to no interest in the job until they saw the skills or work of a mortician in practice.
It may explain why more people have become morticians because of TV dramas that emphasize the forensic sciences which helps spark their interest in this age-old profession.
How to Become a Mortician
A mortician job today requires having the proper training and education in order to meet the criteria for local and state authorities so that you can be properly certified. There are roughly 70 schools across the nation that offers education in mortuary science or in funeral service. Some of these institutions specialize in mortuary science while others are traditional colleges, universities and technical colleges.
You can find these institutions by using an online directory such as the one provided by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. In fact, you may even find online programs as well that will teach mortuary science. However, most of these programs will require being in the lab or having an internship in order to gain practical experience.
The Education Needed to Gain a Recognized Degree
The mortician job today generally requires a two-year or Associate’s Degree in either Science or Applied Science in the field of mortuary science. Many of the programs included in the degree generally include embalming, restorative art, pathology, mortuary law and funeral service counseling. In addition, many of these degrees include thanatology which is the study of death and the effects it has on the body.
For those that wish to advance their education, there are four-year or Bachelor Degrees in funeral service or mortuary science. Such degrees often consist of study at a local school for the first three years with the final year being completed at a mortuary institute. Those who pursue these types of degrees will often take courses in funeral service management, marketing, health science terminology, human anatomy and so forth. All states will require you to obtain a proper license in order to practice as a mortician.
A mortician job today may not be as glamorous as portrayed on TV, but it is a service that is highly appreciated and takes special skills as well as being well compensated.