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Funeral Direction Major

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Funeral Direction

127 Associates's Degrees Annually
51 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#116 in Popularity (Associate's)
$57,620 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Funeral Direction Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many funeral direction/service graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate Degree 127
Basic Certificate 73
Undergraduate Certificate 59
Bachelor’s Degree 51

What Funeral Direction Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to funeral direction/service were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Funeral Direction/Service Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills for Funeral Direction/Service Majors

When studying funeral direction/service, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Abilities for Funeral Direction/Service Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a funeral direction/service student include the following:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

What Can You Do With a Funeral Direction Major?

People with a funeral direction/service degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Funeral Service Managers 7.0% $79,180
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors 3.8% $52,650

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Funeral Direction?

127 Associate's Degrees Annually
69% Percent Women
9% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 69% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of funeral direction/service majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 2
Hispanic or Latino 5
White 115
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 4

How Much Do Funeral Direction Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Funeral Direction/Service majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $57,620 to $93,820 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Funeral Direction Major  ( 57620 to 93820 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with funeral direction/service may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to funeral direction/service have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 4.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 8.4%
Some College Courses 3.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 68.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 6.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 5.2%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 6.0%

Online Funeral Direction Programs

In the 2020-2021 academic year, 15 schools offered some type of funeral direction/service program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 5 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 4 1
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Funeral Direction Worth It?

The median salary for a funeral direction/service grad is $57,620 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 44% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $354,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to funeral direction/service.

Major Number of Grads
General Funeral Service & Mortuary Science 1,917
Other Funeral Service & Mortuary Science 67
Mortuary Science & Embalming/Embalmer 60

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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