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How Do I Become a Mortuary Technician?

A mortuary technician might prepare a body for a funeral.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 December 2014
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A person who assists with preparing dead bodies for funerals, burial, or cremation is referred to as a mortuary technician. In some places, a person with this job also assists with autopsies. To prepare for this position, you will usually need a high school diploma and a degree or certificate in mortuary sciences or funeral services. You will also need training, which often can be obtained in the form of an internship or apprenticeship. Some jurisdictions or employers require licensing or certification as well.

A high school education is usually required when you want to become a mortuary technician. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have high school diplomas but will typically accept General Educational DevelopmentĀ® (GEDĀ®) diplomas as well. Getting a high school diploma may provide you with more than just a diploma, however. It can also provide you with a background of scientific knowledge you can use in your career. Additionally, courses that help you develop communication skills might help as you work to become a mortuary technician.

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Higher education requirements typically vary from employer to employer. Many, however, will require you to have at least some college education in mortuary sciences, funeral services, or a related major. For example, some employers will want you to have at least an associate's degree to qualify for this job. Though there are many positions that don't require bachelor's degree, seeking one might open the doors for advancement in this field. Additionally, you may find that a bachelor's degree is necessary in some jurisdictions.

Usually, training will be required when you want to become a mortuary technician, and there are a couple of ways to get the training you need. One of them is by participating in an internship through which you can gain hands-on experience performing the kinds of tasks for which you will be responsible once you become a mortuary technician. You might also find an apprenticeship through which you can get training.

In some jurisdictions, you will need to earn certification or licensing to become a mortuary technician. In such a case, you will have to meet the educational requirements of the certifying body, which often include at least some higher education. You will usually also need some work experience, which would include participation in an internship program or apprenticeship. Once you have met the educational and training requirements, you will then have to take a test to obtain certification. Though certification may not be required by all employers or in all jurisdictions, earning it can translate into more job opportunities.

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