The Morte Girls are often asked by young people (and some not so young) about how to forge a career in funeral service, and what it’s like. We explain that the hours are long, that most of us work nights, weekends and holidays, and that the pay is generally little more than adequate. Additionally, the workday can often be stressful, with the unpredictability, and the ever-present sense of urgency. Some days, being a funeral director it is a thankless job, while on others it is totally rewarding. And in the spirit of full disclosure, we also tell them something many others do not: opportunities are few and far between.
In New York City, where we are based, funeral homes continue to close, or be purchased and consolidated by large corporations. Often, the property is worth way more than the business. Some neighborhoods have one or two funeral homes to serve their communities — others have none. This does not bode well for job seekers. After completing our year at American Academy — McAllister Institute, we both made extensive lists of funeral homes to contact about doing an apprenticeship. These days, that list would be quite small.
Another potential wrinkle in obtaining employment is that New York State is considering allowing non-licensed individuals to make removals. In our opinion, this is a HUGE mistake. Whatever you can do without a license cheapens all our licenses and makes us less professional as an industry. What’s more, it takes away jobs from an already dearth job pool.
So, before you pay the steep tuition required by today’s mortuary schools (we’ve heard our former school charges approx. $40,000), do your homework. Go to your local (and not so local) funeral homes and ask about the job market. Funeral directors will tell you what the schools may not.
We’d like to see the dedicated, hardworking, next generation achieve their career goals. But we hope they will do that with their eyes wide open, and full knowledge of what they’re up against.
You can read more about American-Academy-McAllister Institute in the link below.