Funeral directors assist families with the service and burial arrangements when a death occurs. They provide counsel during bereavement, prepare obituaries for the newspaper and handle all aspects of the funeral service. They also assist with picking up the body of the deceased as well as any legal documentation or administrative tasks related to the management of human remains. Some funeral directors also work as embalmers, preparing the body for burial.
Funeral directors work in funeral homes, hospitals, educational institutions and professional associations. They must have excellent people skills and be sensitive to the different beliefs and cultural practices of their clients. The short time between death and funeral services means directors work long hours, nights and weekends to arrange the funeral and burial.
Funeral directors must graduate from an accredited mortuary science program, which lasts between two and four years.
Licensure and Certification
Funeral directors must pass a written exam about state laws and complete a one-year internship with a board-certified preceptor in order to obtain a license in Iowa.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
The outlook for funeral directors is far below average. The 10-year growth rate is only 3%.