Man carrying bag and newspaper

 

Written by Lexie Graf

 

Funeral directors have a very important job. They oversee the management of their funeral home and the details of a funeral. Some of their duties include preparing the body, transporting the body, completing paperwork, funeral planning, and providing emotional support to the family of the deceased.

 

Before deciding to become a funeral director, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

 

It Requires Schooling 

Typically, funeral directors must have an associate degree in mortuary science. However, some employers and even some states require a bachelor degree. They also need to get licensed and have one to three years of apprenticeship experience.

 

Skills Needed

Funeral directors need to have a wide skill set to be successful. Time management, compassion, empathy, communication, acceptance, and an attention to detail are just a few.

 

Challenges You May Face

Becoming a funeral director requires you to be empathetic but it’s also important to have tough skin. You will need to separate yourself from others’ grief at the end of the day. Sometimes funeral directors can suffer from compassion fatigue which can lead to apathy, substance abuse, and isolation. It’s important that funeral directors take care of themselves and keep their emotions in mind.

 

Oftentimes, funeral directors face a situation where they are on call when they should be off the clock. It can be difficult to set boundaries which can affect your personal life.

 

You Wear Many Hats

Funeral directors do much more than planning funerals. Marketing your funeral home and the services you provide is vital to a successful business. Also, with every new client comes a decent amount of paperwork, so paying close attention to detail is important. You also will need to be a makeshift grief counselor. You’re one of the first people families open up to about the loss of their loved one. Juggling office work and working with emotional clients is common for funeral directors.

 

What Makes It Worthwhile

Though working with people experiencing a loss can be difficult at times, it’s rewarding work. Having families tell you how much your work means to them or receiving a tearful hug means you’ve done a good job. Funeral directors help families grieve and heal from the death of a loved one. Without your work, they wouldn’t be able to get a sense of closure.

 

Are you thinking of becoming a funeral director? If you’re already a funeral director, what advice do you have for aspiring professionals? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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