Duties and Educational Requirements for a Licensed Funeral Home Operator

There are a lot of business opportunies providing end of life care, and part of those opportunities include opening a funderal home.

End-of-life care is an important part of the death process as families prepare to say goodbye to their loved ones. There are many decisions to be made that a Licensed Funeral Home Operator can help the family make. A Licensed Funeral Home Operator will assist the family in making decisions about services, burial and, if the family chooses cremation, they will help with that as well.

The requirements to be a Licensed Funeral Home Operator vary from state to state, but all require an apprenticeship and licensure due to the need to operate various equipment, including cremated remains processing equipment.

bachelor's degree

Bachelor or Associates Degree?

To become a licensed funeral home operator, you begin by obtaining a degree in mortuary science. Some states will accept an associate’s degree, but most require a bachelor’s degree.

There are brick and mortar colleges and online programs. Hybrid programs require some in-person classes in addition to online classes.

Apprenticeship

Once the degree is obtained the future funeral home operator must be apprenticed for a period of 1-3 years with a licensed funeral home operator. The apprenticeship will give the future operator hands-on experience in handling the duties of a funeral home operator including the machinery that is used to process the body.

Certifications

If the funeral home operates a crematory, then the apprentice will be trained and certified in the use of crematory equipment, such as the furnace, cremation processor machines, and other cremated remains processing equipment.

Crematory equipment sometimes requires its own certification process depending on the state the funeral home is in. That certification can be acquired through the National Funeral Directors Association.

Licensing Exam

In most states, a licensed funeral home operator must be over 21, have a degree and have had 1-3 years’ experience. When those requirements are fulfilled, the future operator can take a licensing exam. After passing the exam, the apprentice can legally operate his or her own funeral home.

Crematories

A crematory is an excellent addition to any funeral home, giving the rising popularity of this types of remains disposal.

Final Thoughts

A Licensed Funeral Home Operator is the person who will help as a family prepares to say goodbye to their loved one. They will guide the family members as they make decisions about how to memorialize and remember that loved one.