Considering a Career in Funeral Service?

Funeral Director Candidates

Good candidates for this job include people who have a healthy attitude toward death, are comfortable interacting with people at emotional times, want to help others, and are willing to work an unpredictable schedule that includes nights, weekends and holidays.

Preparatory Course Work

Preparatory course work for a career in funeral service includes psychology and human behavior, biology and life science, public speaking and business management.

Further Exploration

Meeting with your local funeral home is a great way to learn more about the day-to-day duties of a funeral director. Start by sending a letter of introduction. Follow up with a telephone call. The best time to call is usually mid-afternoon on weekdays. Also ask about part-time job at a funeral home.


Before they can be licensed, interns are required to:

  • Embalm at least 75 bodies
  • Arrange at least 25 funerals
  • Conduct at least 75 funerals

An internship may not exceed three years, although on occasion the state board will grant an extension.

Practicing in Other States

Some other states grant licenses to New Jersey funeral directors with no additional requirements. You should always check with the appropriate licensing authority before attempting to practice in any state other than the one in which you are licensed.

Mortuary Schools and Online Education Options

Accredited mortuary schools in the region include:

American Academy McAllister Institute
619 West 54th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 757-1190

Briarwood College
2279 Mount Vernon Road
Southington, CT 06489
Phone: (800) 952-2444
Phone: (860) 628-4751

Mercer County Community College
Mortuary Science Program
P.O. Box B
Trenton, NJ, 08690
Phone: (609) 586-4800 ext. 3472

Mount Ida at New England Institute
777 Dedham St.
Newton, MA 02459
Phone: (617) 928-4500

Nassau Community College
Mortuary Science Program
357 East Road
Garden City, NY 11530-6793
Phone: (516) 572-7277

Northampton Community College
Funeral Service Program
3835 Green Pond Rd.
Bethlehem, PA 18020
Phone: (610) 861-5300

Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science
5808 Baum Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: (412) 362-8500

Simmons Institute of Funeral Service
1828 South Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13207
Phone: (315) 475-5142
Phone: (800) 727-3536

For more information about schools of mortuary science, scholarships, and funeral service as a career, contact:

The American Board of Funeral Service Education
38 Florida Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
Phone: (207) 878-6530

Funeral Service Foundation
13625 Bishop's Drive
Brookfield, Wisc 53005-6607
Phone: (877) 402-5900