What to expect from a career as a Funeral Director
Becoming a funeral director is not a career for everyone, but for those who are passionate about helping people through their most difficult times, it can be the perfect choice. Funeral services programs at Ontario colleges prepare students with the practical and professional skills they need for successful careers in this challenging yet rewarding industry.
If you’d like to channel your compassionate nature into a career in funeral services, here’s what you need to know.
Funeral Services Courses
There are three very different components of study in funeral services programs, that when combined, will prepare students for employment:
- Science Courses. Anatomy, microbiology, pathology and other science courses give students an understanding of how the body works and the protocols for managing situations such as infectious disease or virus in the health care industry.
- Practical Skills. Students will learn embalming and restorative art as part of their trade, but will also learn general business and communication skills that will prepare them to manage or own a mortuary. Lab work will be part of the curriculum, and work placements will give students the opportunity to observe and practice these skills in real-world environments.
- Ethics and Morality Courses. Students will examine the ethical and legal components of the funeral industry and will also study the emotions and behaviours connected with loss and grieving to gain a better understanding of their clients’ situations to provide them with better care.
Note: A separate stream in the funeral services program allows for students with religious or ethnic objections to embalming to still participate in this program. Students will be eligible to achieve their license through the Ontario government, but will receive a non-embalming version.
General Funeral Services Program Requirements
Ontario college funeral service programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit and a senior biology credit. Additional science and math credits may also be required, depending on the program.
Programs may also have additional requirements outside of academic credits, such as demonstrated work in a funeral home, a Class G driver’s license, a first aid certificate and updated immunizations.
Funeral Services Jobs and Salaries
Graduates of funeral services programs who have successfully obtained their licenses are fully prepared to act as funeral directors, funeral home owners or managers. The average starting salary in the field is around $30,000 per year, but increases with experience. Funeral home owners and managers can expect much higher salaries.
Ontario Colleges Offering Funeral Services Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of funeral services programs at Ontario colleges.