A CAREER IN FUNERAL SERVICE
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, “Today, Funeral Service has accomplished a shift in emphasis from preoccupation with death and the dead to a genuine concern for life and the living, from safeguarding the physical health of the survivors to safeguarding their mental and emotional health.”
“The men and women of today who select Funeral Service as their profession will find it necessary to be adequately trained and socially sensitive to the professional responsibility required for licensure and social service.” The rewards of Funeral Service are both material and spiritual. It offers stability of employment in a time-honored vocation that continues to increase in prestige from year to year.
A career in Funeral Service makes possible the utilization of a variety of special skills in such areas as counseling and public relations as well as many facets of business management. This is particularly true of many funeral homes where specialization is encouraged. Changing funeral customs have opened new areas of social service.
The following information from the most recent Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, states that “few occupations require the tact, discretion and compassion called for in the work of funeral directors and embalmers.” While describing the nature of the work, the handbook states that funeral directors take great pride in their ability to provide efficient and appropriate services and the funeral director “also comforts the family and friends of the deceased.” Further, “important personal traits for funeral directors are composure, tact and the ability to communicate easily with the public.”
“If your knowledge of the Funeral Service field is limited or if your interest is not yet clearly defined, it would be advisable to talk to several funeral directors concerning your future as well as career opportunities available. You may develop the opportunity to affiliate with a funeral home and perhaps to serve part or all of your traineeship.”
Additional qualities for prospective Funeral Service professionals are: “a reasonable emotional maturity; a sensitivity to people’s feelings coupled with a desire to help others solve problems caused by bereavement; the capacity for making friends and inspiring confidence and, finally, the willingness to adjust your personal life to the needs of others.”
“If you believe that you possess or can develop most of these qualities, then Funeral Service may offer you a rewarding career.”
For additional information on Funeral Service as a career, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor each year publishes information in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which contains articles about each profession.