Schools for Mortuary Technicians

Find out about degree programs in mortuary science that can prepare you to become a mortuary technician. Learn about program accreditation and licensure requirements. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Find a Mortuary Technician School?

Rather than mortuary technician schools, you're actually looking for institutions that offer training in mortuary science. These can be independent schools of mortuary science or funeral service, a university's college of allied health or a community college's department of public and social services.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) has accredited roughly 60 degree-granting mortuary science programs at various types of schools throughout the United States (www.bls.gov). The ABFSE also lists a number of schools that offer programs that can be pursued at least partially online. As a student at an ABFSE-accredited school, you may be able to qualify for an ABFSE scholarship.

What Degrees Are Available?

The most common degree in mortuary science is an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.); this type of program typically takes two years to complete. Most programs consist of 67-76 credits in such courses as anatomy, grief psychology, mortuary law, embalming, restorative art, funeral service management and funeral directing. You may be required to complete one or more internships at an approved funeral home. Many schools offer a review course that prepares you for the National Board Examination, which is a requirement for licensure.

Though less numerous than 2-year programs, there are a number of schools that offer 4-year programs leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mortuary Science. In addition to the courses found in an A.A.S. program, a 120-124 credit B.S. program can include such courses as pathogenic microbiology, funeral ethics, systemic pathology, contemporary funeral practices and the history of funeral directing.

Some schools offer what is designated as a bachelor's completion program. If you already hold an A.A.S. in Mortuary Science from an accredited school, you may be able to transfer your credits into a B.S. program. Degree completion programs often require two years of study.

Am I Licensed Once I Earn a Degree?

Although you may be allowed to practice as a mortuary technician upon graduation, this doesn't mean that you're a licensed funeral director or mortician. States have individual requirements for licensure. The website of the National Funeral Directors Association has a contact list of each state's licensing board along with each state's basic licensing requirements (www.nfda.org).

You'll find that all states require you to pass an examination. In many cases this is the National Board Examination, but some may also require you to pass a state exam. Some states require an apprenticeship which can last from 1-3 years. Most states expect you to complete a specified number of continuing education credits in order to maintain your license. Continuing education is offered by accredited schools in on-campus or online formats.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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