Funeral Arranger Jobs: Salary and Career Facts
Are you composed and compassionate? Do you have a talent for comforting others in sorrow and distress? Are you organized, capable and conscientious when managing work assignments? Then you have the personal qualities necessary to become a funeral arranger, more commonly referred to as a funeral director. Read here to learn more about this career. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Types Programs for Funeral Arrangers Are Available?
Schools across the U.S. offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs in mortuary science to people interested in becoming funeral arrangers or who want to pursue a funeral industry career. Programs impart knowledge of professional standards, practices and ethics in the funeral industry. Specific course topics might include mortuary chemistry, embalming, funeral service fundamentals, funeral service counseling and cosmetic restoration. Some bachelor's degree programs are set up to accept credits in transfer from associate's degree programs.
All states require funeral arrangers to be licensed. Typically, candidates need to complete at least two years of education, work an apprenticeship for 1-2 years and pass a licensing exam. Exams consist of an oral section, a written section and a practical demonstration. Some states also require from 3-12 hours of continuing education per year to retain a license.
What Are My Employment Prospects?
Funeral arrangers primarily work in funeral homes, which may be run as a private business, a franchise operation or a non-profit organization. Of the approximately 30,000 funeral arrangers working in the U.S. as of 2008, roughly 13% were self-employed according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projected employment of funeral directors will grow 12% from 2008-18. Growth will be driven by rising death rates in the aging national population (www.bls.gov).
What Job Duties Will I Have?
As a funeral arranger, you consult with family members of a deceased person about the date, time and location of memorial services and burials. You also make arrangements with clergy to lead services and churches, funeral parlors, cemeteries or other facilities to host them. Then you arrange for transport of bodies, assign pallbearers and place obituary notices. Finally, you assure that all memorial, burial or cremation arrangements comply with local, state and federal regulations. Because public interaction is a central responsibility of this position, you are expected to present yourself and represent your employer in a professional and caring manner.
What Salary Could I Earn?
According to a February 2011 comparison of average funeral arranger salaries in ten major cities by Salaryexpert.com, you could expect to earn in the range of $51,284-$97,182. The highest salary was paid in New York City and the lowest in Indianapolis. However, according to Payscale.com as of January 2011, salaries fell into a more modest middle range of $33,465-$51,095. Self-employed funeral arrangers earned $34,095-$51,244, those working for non-profit organizations earned $43,000-$55,364 and those working for franchise operations earned $31,300-$95,000.
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