How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (2023)

How much do morticians make? Morticians are responsible for providing a vital service to individuals who have died, preparing bodies, and working closely with the deceased's loved ones. If you have ever contemplated working in this profession, you can have questioned, how much do morticians make? Understanding what the job requires and the possible earnings might help you decide if it's a suitable fit for you.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (1)

What is a mortician?

A mortician is in charge of a variety of death-related responsibilities, however, the daily tasks might change depending on the demands of their customers. Meeting with the deceased's family and loved ones to make funeral preparations and guide them through the process is one of the most typical death care tasks of morticians. For those who have lost someone important to them, death is a difficult and emotional moment, therefore a mortician must provide support while also ensuring that they have access to the resources they require.

Morticians also handle deceased bodies, preparing them for burial and transporting them to other sites. A mortician can collect the body and transport it to the funeral home for preparation, including embalming and adding cosmetics to make the body seem more acceptable for an open-casket funeral. Morticians frequently collaborate with others involved in the process, such as those who work at the church where the funeral will be held or at the cemetery where the burial will be held.

Variances in job title

Morticians are sometimes referred to as undertakers and funeral directors. Although certain responsibilities differ by job, people in the death care business frequently assist one another by providing a variety of services to their customers. While some morticians deal exclusively with departed corpses to prepare them for funerals and burials, others work closely with the deceased's family and friends to give support and resources throughout the dying process.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (2)

What does a mortician do?

Funeral Directors, Undertakers, and Morticians organize and direct funeral services by arranging corpse transportation to the mortuary, interviewing family or other authorized persons to organize details, choosing pallbearers, assisting with the selection of religious rites officials, and providing transportation for mourners.

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Requirements for morticians

An associate degree from an approved institution is required for working as a mortician. The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) granted the accreditation, and mortuary science and funeral services programs are available across the United States. You will be eligible to take the national board examination, which is administered by the ABFSE, once you have completed your education. If you pass the test, the ABFSE can assist you in finding a paid apprenticeship. You can take the state board exam in the state where you plan to work after you've completed the required number of hours as an apprentice.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (3)

To work in this area, you must have specific talents in addition to finishing your degree and passing the appropriate examinations. Deathcare is a difficult job that requires a lot of compassion for those who are dealing with loss and sadness. Death is a painful circumstance, regardless of who has passed away, therefore individuals working in this profession must recognize that they will interact directly with emotional and unhappy people.

Morticians should also have good planning abilities and strong communication skills. Working in this profession necessitates keeping track of many plans and being adaptable in meeting the requirements and wishes of clients, as well as requests expressed by the deceased before their death. A job as a mortician can be a good fit if you enjoy dealing with people and giving them caring compassion through tough times.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (4)

Average salary of a mortician (mortician salary)

Because the death care services sector is difficult to work in, most morticians earn a good living. The national average income for this occupation is $59,777 per year. Denver, Colorado, Jacksonville, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania are among the cities with the highest pay for funeral directors and morticians.

For reporting reasons, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors together as "funeral service workers." Between 2019 and 2029, the job outlook for people in this profession is expected to drop somewhat, according to their statistics.

(Video) How much money does a mortician make an hour?

As of can 2019, morticians earned an average annual income of $57,620, or $27.70 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is substantially more than the national median wage of $39,810 for all jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is less than the median salary for all funeral industry professionals, which is $58,310. In the top 10% of income, morticians can earn more than $89,050 per year.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (5)

Hourly wage and state variances

The top 10% of morticians earned more than $98,000 each year. Those who work in metropolitan regions are frequently the greatest incomes. The top-paying cities for morticians are New York City, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The number of hours worked each week has an impact on a mortician's pay.

Tips for increasing earnings as a mortician

Follow these suggestions if you want to enhance your earning potential as a mortician.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (6)

Get experience

In the death care services sector, experience is highly appreciated. Those with greater experience are more at ease talking with the deceased's loved ones and are aware of the chores that must be completed when arranging a funeral and making arrangements. A more skilled and reputable mortician can produce more referrals from individuals who felt comfortable working with that individual at the time of their loved one's death, as death services firms typically rely on referrals. You can be able to qualify for higher hourly or yearly wage as your experience grows.

Learn additional duties

Workers in certain death care facilities have well-defined duties and have no idea how to manage other aspects of the process. You can be able to enhance your earning potential by becoming more well-rounded and learning how to handle additional duties if you just manage specific aspects of the funeral planning or body preparation process. Consider becoming trained in the technique of embalming or makeup application on the corpse if your job entails arranging funeral arrangements. Increasing your abilities can enable you to obtain a position that pays more.

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Start your own business

If you've worked in the death care industry before, you might want to explore starting your own company to deliver these vital services to your community. You'll need a business license and a building that can keep the remains of the deceased and offer room to prepare them for burial before you can start your business.

Consider a new location

Your earning potential is heavily influenced by the place in which you work. This is true for both the company you work for and your actual location. Because morticians earn more in certain states than others, relocation can enhance your income potential. Working for a national firm or a business that can take on more clients at a time can be more lucrative than working for a local funeral home.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (7)

How much does a funeral director make?

Top-level funeral director earnings begin at:

$43.21 per hour, $89,880 per year.

Senior-level funeral director earnings begin at:

$34.39 per hour, $71,530 per year.

Mid-level funeral director earnings begin at:

$26.04 per hour, $54,150 per year.

Junior-level funeral director earnings begin at:

$19.25 per hour, $40,050 per year.

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Starting level funeral director earnings begin at:

$14.12 per hour, $29,370 per year.

How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (8)

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How Much Do Morticians Make (Average Salary) (9)

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Do morticians make a lot of money? ›

The salaries of Funeral Director & Morticians in the US range from $102,958 to $140,090 , with a median salary of $114,640 . The middle 57% of Funeral Director & Morticians makes between $114,640 and $122,638, with the top 86% making $140,090.

What is the highest paying job in the funeral industry? ›

High Paying Funeral Professional Jobs
  • Funeral Director. Salary range: $45,000-$59,000 per year. ...
  • Embalmer. Salary range: $39,000-$55,000 per year. ...
  • Funeral Arranger. Salary range: $34,500-$44,500 per year. ...
  • Crematory Operator. Salary range: $31,000-$38,500 per year. ...
  • Funeral Attendant. ...
  • Cemetery Caretaker.

Is mortician a good career? ›

Mortuary Science careers pay well. Every state is different, but the median income for funeral home managers is $76,000 per year. In some states, it can be as high as $134,000. The average funeral service worker who is not a director or home manager still earns over $54,000 per year.

Who makes more a mortician or embalmer? ›

The highest 10 percent of embalmers make more than $69,900 per year, or $33.61 per hour. Embalmers in the lowest 10 percent income bracket earn $23,600, or $11.35 per hour. An embalmer working as a mortician or funeral director earns a median annual salary of $51,850, or $24.93 per hour.

Do morticians remove organs? ›

One of the most common questions people have about embalming is whether or not organs are removed. The answer is no; all of the organs remain in the body during the embalming process. Instead, the Embalmer makes small incisions in the abdomen and inserts tubes into the body cavity.

Do morticians wash the body? ›

When the funeral director begins the embalming process, he places the body on a special porcelain or stainless steel table that looks much like what you'd find in an operating room. He washes the body with soap and water and positions it with the hands crossed over the abdomen, as you'd see them appear in a casket.

What state pays morticians the most? ›

We found that Indiana is the best state in the nation for funeral directors, and people in Fairbanks earn the most in the field.
1. Indiana.
Total Funeral Director Jobs:27
Average Annual Salary:$41,365
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$31,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$53,000
1 more row
Apr 6, 2021

How long does it take to be a mortician? ›

Depending on the program, it may take you two and four years to complete. If you already have a degree, you may only require a few supplementary courses which allow you to complete the program within a shorter time.

Is a mortician the same as an embalmer? ›

What Is the Difference Between Embalmer and Mortician? An embalmer is someone who prepares bodies for burial by sanitizing and preserving them. A mortician is someone who works with the bereaved, helps plan funerals, and oversees the burial process.

What are the dangers of being a mortician? ›

Medical risks

Morticians handle corpses, which can put them at risk of infection or disease. While this is rare, proper training and equipment are an important part of preventing it. Morticians may also continue their training in this to ensure they have the appropriate knowledge when handling afterlife care.

Do morticians have PTSD? ›

One of the often-overlooked side effects of working in funeral service is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue represent a serious group of related problems for people who care for, hear about or witness the intense suffering of others.

Can you make a living as a mortician? ›

Since the death care services industry is a challenging one to work in, most morticians earn a comfortable salary. The average salary for this position across the U.S. is $59,777 per year .

Is there a mortician shortage? ›

The shortage is so serious right now that there's a 90% job placement rate for graduates of these programs,” said Leili McMurrough, program director at Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois, one of the nation's oldest mortuary schools dating back to 1911.

Is being a mortician stressful? ›

Long hours, unpredictable workloads, and the emotional demands of the planning, arrangement, embalming, and cremation processes build, forces us into a position where we feel "compassion fatigue." Yes, even seemingly basic responses to others, such as compassion, sympathy, and empathy, can be fatiguing.

Is there a high demand for morticians? ›

Overall employment of funeral service workers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

Are eyes removed during embalming? ›

We don't remove them. You can use what is called an eye cap to put over the flattened eyeball to recreate the natural curvature of the eye. You can also inject tissue builder directly into the eyeball and fill it up. And sometimes, the embalming fluid will fill the eye to normal size.

Why do they cover face before closing casket? ›

Over time, coffins underground will decompose and eventually collapse. Covering the face before closing the casket adds an extra layer of protection and dignity for the deceased's face and can act as a symbolic final goodbye.

Is becoming a mortician hard? ›

Becoming a mortician requires a high level of dedication and work, but the career provides rewards that are well worth the effort it takes.

Can you watch your own funeral? ›

One of the wildest innovations is “living funerals.” You can attend a dry run of your own funeral, complete with casket, mourners, funeral procession, etc. You can witness the lavish proceedings without having an “out-of-body” experience, just an “out-of-disposable-income” experience.

Do morticians do autopsies? ›

Generally speaking, morticians don't do autopsies, but sometimes they can be conducted in the funeral home if there is no local coroner's office. Typically, these tables have usual at one end, so that any blood or fluids can easily be drained during the autopsy and embalming process.

What happens immediately after death? ›

Your heart no longer beats, your breath stops and your brain stops functioning. Studies suggest that brain activity may continue several minutes after a person has been declared dead. Still, brain activity isn't the same as consciousness or awareness. It doesn't mean that a person is aware that they've died.

Do morticians go to medical school? ›

Unlike a doctor going to medical school, you'll take your funeral director's education at a regular college. Courses for a degree in mortuary science typically include embalming, restorative techniques, ethics, grief counseling, funeral service and business law. Embalming is an education in itself.

Are morticians called doctors? ›

Many morticians directly work with the dead, embalming the body or applying cosmetics for viewings. To become a mortician, one must undergo education and state qualifications. There is also a licensing board federally and on a state level. That being said, morticians are not licensed medical professionals or doctors.

How much does a morgue guy make? ›

Morgue Technicians in America make an average salary of $38,886 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $54,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.

How old is the average mortician? ›

Interestingly enough, the average age of morticians is 40+ years old, which represents 76% of the population.

How long do morticians work daily? ›

Morticians and funeral directors maintain a typical daily work schedule, however, are on call 24-hours a day. This is because funeral services often need to be arranged within 24 to 72 hours of a death. Funeral directors must be ready to help families during times of need, whenever that may be.

Do morticians dress a body? ›

While the funeral director or mortician is charged with actually dressing the body, the clothing is selected by the family. Some families have preferences for what they want their loved ones to wear, and some individuals also include their burial clothing as part of their final wishes.

What are morticians called now? ›

A funeral director may work at a funeral home or be an independent employee.” Mortician and undertaker are synonymous with the title of funeral director the only difference being mortician is an American term and undertaker is more British.

What type of person becomes a mortician? ›

Morticians must be intelligent and disciplined academically, as the course work is rigorous. A mortician is trained by going to college for two to four years, studying topics such as anatomy and physiology, embalming, art, business, accounting, social sciences, ethics, biology, chemistry, grief counseling and law.

Can a mortician pronounce death? ›

A: Only A Doctor Can Pronounce You Dead

These doctors need to comply with federal laws, state and local laws, and the policies of the hospital or facility where they work.

Is it okay to touch someone in a casket? ›

Open Casket Funeral Etiquette

While some people find comfort in seeing their loved ones as they remember them, it may also be uncomfortable to others. If they have an open casket viewing, make sure you follow proper funeral etiquette: DON'T touch the body under any circumstances.

Do morticians cut clothes? ›

Funeral home professionals prefer to cut clothing off when dressing a loved one. You should do the same as it will make the process easier. Although it is not necessary for Direct Cremation, some families prefer to wash or clean their loved one, especially for religious reasons.

What do morticians do in a day? ›

Morticians typically oversee the embalming, dressing, and cosmetic enhancements of a deceased person before they are placed in a casket. They also help with preparing funeral processions and provide other services for living relatives.

What does a mortician do with eyes? ›

Eyes and lips are not sewn or glued shut. During the embalming process, an "eye cap" is placed under each eyelid and over the eyeball. The eyes themselves may soften a little over time, but the eye cap helps to retain the shape of the eye. A Vaseline-like cream is placed on the lips to keep them together.

Do morticians style hair? ›

Sometimes called desairologists, mortuary cosmetologists are trained to use products to style or alter the hair, face, and nails to prepare a deceased person for viewing and/or burial.

Why do morticians wear black? ›

The tradition of black mourning clothing in the West dates back to the Roman Empire, when the family of the deceased would wear a dark-colored toga, called a toga pulla. This tradition persisted in England throughout medieval times, when women were expected to wear black caps and veils when their husbands passed away.

Is a mortician a 9 5 job? ›

Typical Work Schedule

Morticians work full-time schedules, and commonly work overtime. The job of mortician is not a 9-5 role—morticians are on-call often to handle emergencies at all hours of the day and all days of the year.

Is it hard to be an embalmer? ›

The job of an embalmer is as demanding as it is rewarding. Many people who choose this profession must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many embalmers carry a pager and must always be on call. This may mean working during a holiday or special event and requires a high level of personal sacrifice.

Do morticians work at night? ›

You will work all day, on call picking up bodies at night, and back to work tomorrow.

How long can a mortician preserve a body? ›

When properly stored and cooled, a body can be kept for up to six weeks at the funeral home, so you'll have plenty of flexibility when planning your memorial service.

Are morticians traumatized? ›

One of the often-overlooked side effects of working in funeral service is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue represent a serious group of related problems for people who care for, hear about or witness the intense suffering of others.

Do morticians get depressed? ›

It goes hand in hand with a lack of personal boundaries. Business may thrive and customers may be happy, but funeral directors wind up not spending time with their own families. Substance abuse and depression is often the end result.

Do morticians make 6 figures? ›

The average Funeral Director & Mortician in the US makes $116,458. The average bonus for a Funeral Director & Mortician is $6,425 which represents 6% of their salary, with 100% of people reporting that they receive a bonus each year.

Why would someone become a mortician? ›

You want to work with people.

They offer comfort and consolation to those in need, and help them make arrangements for their loved one's funeral and wake. If you are good with people and a strong communicator, a mortuary science degree and career may just be for you.

What are the pros and cons of being a mortician? ›

Pros and Cons of Being a Mortician – Summary Table
Pros of Being a MorticianCons of Being a Mortician
1. Social Engagement1. Emotionally Draining
2. Good Wages2. Potential for Spiritual Possession
3. Steady Clientele3. Some Find it a Creepy Profession
4. Opportunity to Learn Professionally4. You Deal With Dead People Daily
3 more rows

How hard is it to be a mortician? ›

Mortician Requirements

Being at least 18 years old. Completing an associate degree from an accredited funeral service or mortuary science program, if required. Some states require a bachelor's degree, and some don't have any postsecondary degree requirements. Working as an intern or apprentice in your state.

Is it hard to work in a mortuary? ›

This is a difficult job and you have to be very dextrous to be able to reconstruct a body. There can also be heavy manual work involved as well. “This job is certainly not as glamorous as it looks on television shows such as Silent Witness.”

Is being a mortician hard? ›

Emotionally challenging

Working with death and families in grief can be emotionally challenging. Morticians are around death daily and frequently hear stories that may be emotionally draining, which can affect their outlook on life.

Do morticians have trauma? ›

Occupational Risk of Secondary Traumatic Stress Mortuary workers may be exposed to trauma directly through body handling and preparation; however, they may also face additional work stressors in their dealings with the bereaved.

How smart do you have to be to be a mortician? ›

Morticians must be intelligent and disciplined academically, as the course work is rigorous. A mortician is trained by going to college for two to four years, studying topics such as anatomy and physiology, embalming, art, business, accounting, social sciences, ethics, biology, chemistry, grief counseling and law.

Are mortician in demand? ›

California has a rich employment environment for morticians. Across the state, there are currently as many as 1,870 morticians employed, earning an average salary of $45,500 to $50,230. This salary is a bit above the national average, making this a great state in which to become a mortician.

What qualifications do morticians need? ›

An associate's degree in funeral service or mortuary science is the typical education requirement for funeral service workers. The syllabus commonly includes professional ethics, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, pathology, embalming, restorative art, federal regulations, and mortuary law.

How many hours a week does a mortician work? ›

Most funeral service workers are employed full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week. They are often on call; irregular hours, including evenings and weekends are common.

What state pays the most for morticians? ›

Geographic profile for Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Arrangers:
StateEmployment (1)Hourly mean wage
California2,180$ 24.15
Ohio1,540$ 29.77
New York1,470$ 34.15
Illinois1,270$ 30.08
1 more row

How do I know if I could be a mortician? ›

If you are good with people and a strong communicator, a mortuary science degree and career may just be for you. The best morticians are those who enjoy leading people, teaching people, and helping people in need. They also have great interpersonal skills.


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