High school students can prepare for a job as a funeral director by taking courses in biology and chemistry and by participating in public speaking. Part-time or summer jobs in funeral homes also are good experience. An associate’s degree in mortuary science is the minimum educational requirement.
All funeral directors must be licensed by the state in which they work. Funeral directors must have at least an associate’s degree in mortuary science. A growing number of employers, however, prefer applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.
In all mortuary science programs, students take courses in ethics, grief counselling, funeral service, and business law. Funeral directors must complete hands-on training under the direction of a licensed funeral director, usually lasting one-to-three years. The apprenticeship may be completed before, during, or after completing a mortuary program. Most jurisdictions require funeral directors to receive continuing education credits to keep their licenses.