Funeral Arranger Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Funeral arrangers, more commonly called funeral directors, primarily work for funeral homes. Find out about the education, training and licensing that's required for funeral arrangers, and learn about the employment prospects and salary range for this profession. Schools offering Funeral Service Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Funeral Arranger?

Funeral arrangers are also known as funeral directors. They plan funerals, and they work with the family or friends of the deceased to make decisions and arrangements. Some of the things they may be responsible for include having an obituary published, securing pallbearers, making transportation arrangements, booking clergy to speak, and if necessary they may arrange for the body of the deceased to be transported. They need to have compassion and strong interpersonal skills because they work closely with people who are in mourning.

Degree Required Associate's degree required; bachelor's degree preferred
Education Field of Study Funeral service or mortuary science
Key Responsibilities Preparing all arrangements for a funeral service, burial or cremation
Licensure or Certification Licensing required in all states except Colorado
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% for morticians, undertakers and funeral directors*
Median Salary (2015) $48,490 for morticians, undertakers and funeral directors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Types Programs for Funeral Arrangers Are Available?

Schools across the U.S. offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs in mortuary science to people interested in becoming funeral arrangers or who want to pursue a funeral industry career. Programs impart knowledge of professional standards, practices and ethics in the funeral industry. Specific course topics might include mortuary chemistry, embalming, funeral service fundamentals, funeral service counseling and cosmetic restoration. Some bachelor's degree programs are set up to accept credits in transfer from associate's degree programs.

All states require funeral arrangers to be licensed. Typically, candidates need to complete at least two years of education, work an apprenticeship for 1-2 years and pass a licensing exam. Exams consist of an oral section, a written section and a practical demonstration. Some states also require from 3-12 hours of continuing education per year to retain a license.

What Are My Employment Prospects?

Funeral arrangers primarily work in funeral homes, which may be run as a private business, a franchise operation or a non-profit organization. The BLS projected employment of funeral directors will grow 7% from 2014-2024. Growth will be driven by rising death rates in the aging national population (www.bls.gov).

What Job Duties Will I Have?

As a funeral arranger, you consult with family members of a deceased person about the date, time and location of memorial services and burials. You also make arrangements with clergy to lead services and churches, funeral parlors, cemeteries or other facilities to host them. Then you arrange for transport of bodies, assign pallbearers and place obituary notices. Finally, you assure that all memorial, burial or cremation arrangements comply with local, state and federal regulations. Because public interaction is a central responsibility of this position, you are expected to present yourself and represent your employer in a professional and caring manner.

What Salary Could I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median salary for morticians, undertakers and funeral directors was $48,490 as of May 2015, with the top ten percent earning $82,010 per year or more. The bottom ten percent of professionals in the field earned a salary of $27,000 or less.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Funeral managers and administrative service managers perform some tasks that are similar to the duties of funeral arrangers. Funeral managers oversee the operations of a funeral home, and may coordinate with funeral arrangers to make decisions about facility use and staff duties for specific events. They may also have to work with the bereaved and need compassion and strong interpersonal communication skills. Administrative service managers coordinate an organization's support services, which can include budgeting, general facility maintenance and record-keeping. Funeral managers need an associate's degree, although a bachelor's degree is preferred. Administrative service managers need a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Saint Louis Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Saint Louis
  • Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science Inc

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh
  • Ogeechee Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Statesboro
  • Lake Washington Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kirkland
  • John A Gupton College

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Nashville
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • San Antonio College

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: San Antonio
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge