Preparing the Next Generation of Funeral Directors

October 6, 2020

Our Best Advice for Those New to the Funeral Industry

While the funeral industry continues to grow, more young people may consider a potential career as a funeral director. We certainly encourage you to pursue opportunities in the industry, but we want to be clear: The industry is transforming at an incredible pace, and the responsibilities of funeral directors are constantly changing. The next generation of funeral directors must be up to the challenge.

At National Mortuary Shipping, many of us have been in the industry for decades. We have partnered with funeral directors across the country and around the world. We have a unique understanding of what it takes to be successful in the industry. Here is some of our best advice:


Understand that being a funeral director is more than just a job.

When young people consider their future career path, some think in terms of pursuing a desired job title or position or finding a 9–5 that will provide a good living. The choice of becoming a funeral director may not be an obvious one. For those who pursue a career in the funeral industry, they will find it to be simultaneously rewarding and challenging. It is not just a 9–5 job. You must be willing to work long hours, holidays, and weekends. You will need to be a source of support and comfort for grieving families who need you.


It takes time. 

Seasoned and experienced funeral directors have spent decades building relationships with families in their community. You cannot expect to have the same level of recognition or respect instantly. It will take years of commitment and involvement on your part to establish relationships within your community and get to know local families. 


Use marketing to your advantage.

The benefit of being new to the industry is bringing a fresh approach to your marketing. You do not have to rely only on word of mouth or referrals. Use the vast marketing tools and channels available to enhance your funeral home’s brand and reach new prospective clients and families in your community.


If you do not know, ask. 

There will be many humbling moments when you realize your knowledge is limited. That is all right. You are a funeral director first, not a grief counselor or a lawyer. If you do not know the answer to a question posed by a family member or how to best help, do not try to be someone you are not. Rely on others in your community to serve as resources and help you provide knowledgeable answers to the families you serve.


Know that your job is among the most rewarding.

We have pointed out just a few of the challenges you will face. We also want to point out the undeniable advantages of working as a funeral director. You will get to experience tremendous moments of family unity and share in celebrations of life. You will get to be there for those at their darkest moments, providing them a sense of calm and security. Make no mistake: The job might be challenging, but it is also among the most rewarding career paths. 

If you know someone considering a career in the funeral industry, please feel free to share this article. Or, if we can serve as a resource to you in your funeral industry career research, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our experienced team is happy to talk to you about your questions or help put you in touch with a mentor in your area. 

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