How to become a professional in funeral services

Funeral service is an area where there are many cliches. While the idea of working every day in a company where death is the core business may seem ominous at first glance, it is important to recognize that supporting bereaved families and helping them say goodbye to their loved ones is a noble mission. If you want to get into this type of career, we explain how you can access it.

How does a funerary education program work

The adequate courses

First of all, you must remember of how education in funeral services work :

For professions such as master of ceremonies or funeral counsellor, you will need an adequate diploma, or if you want to work as a funeral director. There are several organizations that provide this education, but in all cases training should be organized as follows:
7 hours of hygiene, safety and ergonomics;
14 hours of funeral legislation;
14 hours of study in psychology and mourning sociology;
14 hours of practice and funeral rites;
14 hours of animation and organization of ceremonies;
7 hours of team coaching.

For those who wish to practice the profession of funeral counsellor (and associated professions), other courses must also be taken in addition, which are the followings :

7 hours of general administration;
42 hours of products, services and sales advice;
And business regulation courses.

Finally, for managers, in addition to all the courses mentioned above, 42 hours of courses in business management have yet to be completed. In all cases, you must carry out practical training of 70 hours in the workplace. Candidates have 12 months to complete their training after signing the employment contract.

Diploma awarding

The diploma is awarded by a jury of three persons from a list of people nominated by the prefect. The final score is divided into three:
At the end of the in-company period, his or her manager conducts an assessment of the candidate, which will represent 20% of the score;
The final examination consists of a written part consisting of an MCQ or practical case for each prepared subject, representing 60% of the mark;
Finally, the oral part of the exam, an individual interview lasting at least 15 minutes, accounts for 20% of the mark.
Once the degree has been obtained, the candidate may practise the profession for which he or she was intended.

Where can I take funeral education? Educational steps

There are two main ways to receive the education needed to become hired as a funerals professional :

Nowadays, many employers require a GED completion. You will then need to reach this level of education if you wish to work in the funerals field.

But you can also get a direct training from a funeral home : to find one, you need to check establishments and try to get a meeting in order to discuss your career goals and wish to learn. If you are chosen, you must know that you will have to perform all necessary tasks under the supervision of a licenced funeral director.

How to become thanatopractor ?

The thanatopractor is a professional whose mission consists in arranging the bodies of the deceased to present them for the funeral ceremony. To do this job, you have to take another training course.

Holders of the A levels will be able to obtain the national diploma of thanatopractor at several universites or in private institutions. The first three months are devoted to theoretical lessons, culminating in a written examination. Candidates who have passed this test will then be able to spend 12 months on-the-job training in the workplace. At the end of this period, the company will draw up an evaluation of the candidate, which it will pass on to a jury.

If successful, the candidate will then receive his diploma, which will enable him to perform the function of thanatopractor.

Other ways to get funerals education

It has been many years since online programs have appeared to educate you to become a funerals professional. There are more and more students who decide to take thoses programs and complete all courseworks online. However, all those online programs cannot substitute to pratical courses such as restorative arts or clinicals. The online programs can consequently replace the theorical courses you can receive to become a funerals professional but are not complete enought to enable you to get a full diploma in this field.