Mortuary science technically is defined as the study of a deceased body via mortuary work. The term “mortuary science” many times is applied to an academic study program designed to prepare a student for work as a funeral director or in some other capacity in a funeral home. A common question is whether this course of study leads to a lucrative career. The short answer is that mortuary science can lead to a lucrative career in many instances.
Income of Funeral Director
A majority of people who obtain this type of degree end up working as funeral directors. Funeral directors historically were known as morticians or undertakers.
The median annual income for a funeral director in the United States is $52,650, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of funeral directors, those who’ve been in the business for a more extended period, make about $90,000 annually.
Geography plays a pivotal role in the income earned by a person with a mortuary science degree. Funeral directors tend to have higher salaries in larger communities. With that said, there are also instances in which funeral directors in midsize and even smaller communities earn top dollar because they very well may be the only professional of this nature in their city or town.
Although lucrative might not be the term applied to the median income of a funeral director, it certainly is a comfortable income, depending on an individual’s circumstances. As is discussed in a moment, many funeral directors are part of family-owned businesses or end up owning their own homes. This reality positively impacts the income of a person with a mortuary science degree.
Funeral Home Ownership
Many people who obtain a mortuary science degree end up owning a funeral home. Even in an era when corporate funeral homes have been rising in number, over 80 percent of these types of businesses in the United States are individually or family-owned. As has been the case for an extended period, owning a funeral home proves to be a lucrative investment for most people in the business.
Many funeral directors become co-owners of a home because of their family relationships. In other words, they join a funeral home team after getting out of school. In time, they are offered an ownership interest. In some cases, a person enters the business with an ownership interest in a home at the start.
Although a relatively competitive industry, people with mortuary science degrees still establish their own homes. Few do this directly after graduation. However, a notable percentage do establish their own funeral homes after gaining experience in the industry.
Related Resource: 10 Best Affordable Bachelor’s in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science
A person interested in earning a solid living in the service of others can achieve this laudable objective in the funeral industry. Moreover, in a good many cases, a person can earn a lucrative living in the funeral industry. The pathway for a career in this arena begins with obtaining a mortuary science degree from a college or university or a junior or community college.