Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons
Every profession has its pros and cons. A career in the death services industry can be both rewarding and exhausting at the same time. See below for some common reasons people enjoy becoming a mortician and some complaints they have about the field.
- Your work is appreciated: Working as a mortician can be extremely rewarding. Whether you were forced into it because your family runs a small funeral home or you are doing it for the stable income and lucrative outlook, you should understand that you are providing an excellent service to your community. Death is a tough process and many people have trouble coping with it. Your service ultimately has a therapeutic benefit to your clients, as most people want to have peace of mind as their loved ones transition to the afterlife. You are there to help facilitate this transition. You have the opportunity to interact with people and help them during their toughest times.
- Limited Requirements: The education and training required to become a mortician is not like that of a doctor. Most states require just one or two years of college in an accredited mortuary program along with one to two years of apprenticeship, which can be done during school. Not bad for a career that is stable and with a great job growth outlook.
- Good stable pay: Although morticians are generally not multi-millionaires, they live comfortably. With the median salary of a funeral director being around $50,000 and the top tier making upwards of $100,000 a year the earnings potential is quite high compared to other fields with similar educational requirements. Also, it is a sad fact to hear about people eventually die. There will always be a demand for your job and it cannot be replaced by technology or machines.
- Opportunity for self-employment: The funeral services industry is a very profitable one. With an average of over 2.5 million funerals in the US per year and an average cost of $8000-$10,000 per funeral, you are looking at a $20+ billion industry. A good amount of morticians are self-employed, whether they own their own funeral homes or perform independent contracting work. Being self-employed yields greater flexibility and potential much larger incomes, as your earnings is not fixed but instead directly correlated to the amount of clients you bring in. You’ll probably need to do a lot of marketing and perhaps even higher an in house funeral director and embalmer.
- Long and variable hours: Being a mortician is not a 9-5 job. You’ll have to be on-call a lot depending on if you have a live client or are just receiving a client. Sometimes you may be woken up at 4 AM to help transfer a body and or prepare for a embalming. You may have some weeks where you barely work at all and other weeks when you are working over 60 hours preparing for a funeral. The working hours are very unpredictable and you may even have to sacrifice vacations and holiday with your loved ones to help other people with their loved ones.
- Negative social stigma: Your friends and family may think you’re weird or crazy. Let’s face it; everything we know about the death industry comes from Hollywood, especially the TV show Six Feet Under. Some other common stereotypes are morticians have no social life, take pleasure in handling dead people, and are into necrophilia.
- Dealing with bizarre situations: There are some gross situations and potential paranormal activities that could come up working in the funeral home. If you are fanatically religious, you may claim to hear dead people or encounter spirits while working long hours in a funeral home. While embalming, you could be dealing with client’s who have been in an accident and disfigured as well as startling post mortem muscle movements. You need to have the psychological fortitude to handle these situations if you want to work in the death industry.
- Dealing with demanding clients and paperwork: The family of the deceased maybe extremely demanding, since the funeral process is comparable to a wedding: everything has to be perfect. Since you are hired to plan the perfect funeral, you may have a hard time being on the same page as the client and dealing with them calling you at odd hours or asking for trivial tasks. Additionally, a good amount of time of your job will be spent on handling paperwork, which can be tedious and boring.