Funeral director’s salary is around $55,000. The job is as rewarding as it can also be challenging. The primary function of a funeral director is to oversee all memorial and funeral arrangements in the funeral home, from preparation of the corpse to the wake and the burial. Because they come in at a time of grief, they are also expected to extend emotional support to the bereaved family as much as they can by facilitating an easy funeral service for the deceased. Compared to other professions in more common and popular industries, there is a relatively low demand for funeral directors. According to the US BLS data for 2010, the median annual salary of funeral directors was pegged at $54,140. Keep reading for more information about funeral director salary.
Funeral Director Job Description
Funeral directors facilitate memorial services for the dead. Funeral directors are sometimes called undertakers. They are called on when a person dies and their first task to make arrangements for the transport and the preparations for the body, including the embalming procedure to be done. As well, they assist the family in preparations for the wake, such as arrangements for the venue, and putting out an obiturary and a public notice. Their role extends till the burial date where they help out in arrangements for the funeral procession. They also do legal paperwork such as the filing of a death certificate and assisting the family in claiming insurance and other benefits. In most cases, funeral directors are also licensed embalmers.
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How much does a Funeral Director make ?
Average funeral director salary
The US BLS 2010 data shows that the median annual salary of a funeral director is around $54,000. The bottom 10% earn an average of $29,490 in a year, while the top 10 percent receive around $97,200.
Funeral Director salary in the USA
A basic funeral director’s salary in the US is from $24,220 to $61,087. Add in the bonus and profit, it can increase to as high as $63,278 in a year. Those with more experience receive a higher pay. Funeral director with five to nine years experience can receives as high as $59,000 in a year, while those with more than 10 years can receive an even higher pay pegged at almost $63,000. Starters in the industry may earn around $20,000 to $46,000 annually.
The hourly rate for funeral director with more than five years experience is significantly higher than those with less than a year experience. The former can receive as high as $22.21 per hour, while the latter are only paid as high as $15.47.
Funeral director working in medium-sized companies, or those with less than 50 employees is also paid higher compared to small and big sized companies. The highest salary is $71,897.
Funeral director salary by state
Likewise, Wisconsin pays the highest, with an annual wage that starts at $35,101 to as high as $98,633. California has the second highest rate for a funeral director with an annual salary range of $19,609-$82,701. The lowest rate is in Missouri, with an annual salary range of $18,400-$55,000.
Funeral Director salary in Canada
According to PayScale, the national figures for the wage of Canada’s funeral director is pegged at C$31,149 to C$61,130 annually. The basic annual pay, minus the bonus, ranges from C$30,000 to C$59,000. The median annual pay of funeral director is C$41,705. As with other countries, more experienced funeral directors are paid much higher. Those with 10 or more years under their belt can receive as high as C$73,404 in a year, compared to the maximum C$51,500 annual wage received by those with less than five years of experience. In terms of location, Toronto’s funeral director receives an annual salary as high as C$73,404.
Funeral Director salary in Australia
Australia has more clear and strict regulations with regards the functions and responsibilities of a funeral director. The annual salary may range from AUS$35,000 to AUS$65,000. The average pay is AUS$52,000 per year. This may vary depending on work experience, skills and training, and the size of the company. Beginners in the industry can earn around AUS$36,400 in a year, while senior funeral directors have an average annual pay of AUS$70,000. The three top regions in the country that offer the best rates for funeral directors are New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.
Funeral Director salary in the UK
PayScale reports indicate that funeral director basic salary in the UK is from £14,000 to £26,000 in a year. Add in bonuses, and the total annual pay of funeral director can range from £13,973 to £27,633. The median annual pay is £20,157. Those with more experience have higher pay. Funeral director working for more than 10 years can receives as high as £39,732 in a year, while those with five to nine years experience can earn a maximum of £20,347. Those working in a major city like England receive an annual pay of £15,707 to £25,283. Companies with more than 10 employees pay their funeral directors around £15,000 to £22,000 every year, compared to the maximum £20,952 paid by most companies with less than 10 employees.
Funeral Director salary in South Africa
In South Africa, the median annual salary of funeral director is R205,000, a figure that is significantly higher than the funeral home operations manager. On the other hand, the median salary in a year of those with five to nine years experience is R124,000. It is slightly higher than the R107,025 median annual pay received by those with less than five years as funeral director.
How to become a Funeral Director
The work of a funeral director is a sensitive one. It requires emotional endurance and stamina, experience and familiarity in official procedures and legal work, a bit of event organizing, and some medical/science orientation. The basic educational requirement for a funeral director is an associate degree in the science of mortuary, however, more funeral homes prefer those with a formal university degree. Most of these associate degrees last for two years. Subjects focus on anatomy and physiology, grief management, counseling, ethics, and even business management. To gain some practice and a level of familiarity, one can also take on a summer or part-time job in a funeral home. Upon completion of the degree, funeral directors are expected to work as apprentice of a senior funeral director for one to three years.
A final step before becoming a professional funeral director is a qualifying exam. They will then be given a license to practice if they pass the exam. Likewise, if one wishes to practice or work in another location or state, one needs to pass the state exam to get a license to practice. Usually, funeral directors also take on additional training to become licensed embalmers, especially those working in small funeral homes.
Conclusion about funeral director salary
The work of a funeral director is a specialized skill. A funeral director salary ranges from $24,000 to something as high as $61,000 in a year. The median annual salary is around $54,000. This is relatively high compared to the annual salary of others working in the service industry.