Five Most Commonly Asked Questions Of A Funeral Director

imagesSomeone suggested to me I share the most commonly asked questions of a funeral director. You see, when I am engaged in a conversation with someone in a line or in the seat next to me on an airplane, or anywhere else for that matter, when the questions is asked, “what do you do for a living”, the reaction is always the same…”Oh really…….hmmmm.

Do you mind if I ask you a question?” And my reply is always, “no problem, I get that all the time.”

So here they are, the five most commonly asked questions of a funeral director:


1) Is it a state or federal law that you have to be embalmed?
No. No such law exists, and as a matter of fact, some religions such as Orthodox Jewish are against it. There are times, however, when embalming is required, such as a public viewing.


2) Are more people being cremated today than in the past?
Yes. In the past 10 years, cremation in this country has risen by 10 percent or more. Nationally, about 34% of our dead are cremated. By the year 2018, the rate is expected to be at 52%.



3) Is it a state law to have a burial vault?
Answer: No. Although some cemeteries will accept a burial casket without a vault, most cemeteries require at least a concrete grave liner. This helps with grave maintanance. Graves don’t tend to sink as badly when the casket is encased.


4) How much schooling is required to become a funeral director or embalmer?
Answer: It varies from state to state, but generally, it’s a 4 year process after high school. It consists of your first 2 years of college (general studies), 1 year of course work studying funeral arts and sciences, and a 1 year apprenticeship. But between graduation and our apprenticeship, we have to pass the National Conference Exam.


5) What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever seen?
Answer: You don’t want to know.