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Funeral Direction Major

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Funeral Direction

97 Associates's Degrees Annually
51 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#131 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 97
Bachelor’s Degree 51
Undergraduate Certificate 41
Basic Certificate 14

What Funeral Direction Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to funeral direction/service and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Funeral Direction/Service Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in funeral direction/service should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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

A major in funeral direction/service prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with funeral direction/service:

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?

97 Associate's Degrees Annually
60% Percent Women
9% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 60% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Funeral Direction/Service Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 4
Hispanic or Latino 2
White 84
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 6

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 the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 careers associated with funeral direction/service require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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 2018-2019 academic year, 11 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) 3 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 5 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 3 1
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 3 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 1,633
Mortuary Science & Embalming/Embalmer 83
Other Funeral Service & Mortuary Science 46

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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