Funeral Director On List of 50 best careers of 2010

December 28, 2009
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imageAs one of the 50 best careers of 2010, this should have strong growth over the next decade.

The Rundown:

Few careers may be as little understood as that of a funeral director. Funeral directors play a critical role at an often traumatic time: They shepherd grieving families through the burial and funereal processes. They arrange and oversee far more than most people would know: newspaper obituaries, flower arrangements, transportation for the family members to and from the burial, pallbearers, clothing for the deceased, and much more. Not all funeral directors are also embalmers, but most are. Embalming is the process of preserving the tissues of a body, and often much care is taken in preparing the body for viewing, so faces are set in natural and relaxed expressions and makeup is often used to create a more lifelike appearance. Consider just the range of courses that comprise a mortuary science program: everything from embalming and anatomy to business management and accounting, along with grief counseling and legal classes.

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The outlook:

Expect solid growth between 2008 and 2018. Employment should increase by 3,600 jobs, or 12 percent, over the 10-year period. However, the number of openings resulting from growth and replacement needs, particularly from retirements, will create nearly 10,000 openings over the same period.

Upward mobility:

With experience, you may advance into a managerial position in a nursing home, and eventually strike out on your own?opening your own funeral home.

Activity level:

Pretty high. You’ll be on your feet when embalming, and much of the planning of funeral services involve meeting with families. Certainly some of your time will be spent at a desk?particularly if you own your own funeral home and you’re in charge of handling the finances.

Stress level:

Sometimes high. While funeral directors are often very proud of their work, they can also struggle with the difficult schedules. The work can stretch out into the evenings, the middle of the night, and the weekend.

Education and preparation:

All states license funeral directors. To meet licensing requirements, you’ll likely start by attending a 2-4 year mortuary science program, then complete an apprenticeship under a licensed funeral director, and pass a licensing exam.

Money:

Median annual earnings for funeral directors were $52,210 in 2008. The highest paid 10 percent earn more than $92,940, while the lowest paid 10 percent earn less than $29,910.

Source: USNEWS.com

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