How to Become a Funeral Director

funeral bureau

If you love helping people at a time when they are in need, becoming a funeral director might be the career for you. In order to become a licensed funeral director in California, you need to meet certain requirements.

To start, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a one-year apprenticeship. In addition, you need to pass the state law exam and national board exam.


Funeral directors must have a high level of empathy for their families as they journey through grief. This connection drives operational productivity, positive reviews and a fiercely loyal customer base. Moreover, a good funeral director can connect with clients in a way that helps them understand their options and what each option means for their situation.

If washing or dressing the body is important to religious and cultural practices, funeral homes should work with religious leaders and community members to ensure that it’s done properly. They should also use personal protective equipment to reduce any risk of infection during the process.

The California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau regulates funeral establishments, funeral directors, embalmers, and registered intern embalmers and investigates complaints against them. It also issues licenses to burial and cremation providers and maintains statistical data on the industry. It also oversees funeral home inspections. In addition, it provides education and training to funeral service practitioners.


Honesty is a crucial component of ethical funeral service and mortuary practice. Studies show that dishonesty leads to a higher stress response, and that honesty is associated with greater levels of trust. Honesty is also essential to maintaining a high level of professional competency. It helps develop the right moral character, and provides a strong foundation for progression in one’s career.

It’s important to remember that funeral homes and embalmers must be licensed by their state boards. You can find more information about licensing requirements by contacting your state board.

In addition to the state licensing requirements, you should also follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for worker safety. This includes using proper disinfection protocols and wearing personal protective equipment.

It is illegal for anyone other than a licensed funeral director to make arrangements, prepare the body, or supervise burial. In addition, only a licensed funeral director or an undertaker can file a death certificate at the Burial Desk in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


A funeral bureau’s reputation depends on how well it performs its duties. You can learn more about a funeral home’s reputation by visiting their website and checking their reviews. You can also contact past clients to ask for their opinion about the funeral home’s services.

The funeral consumer’s rights are protected by the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a nonprofit organization that has been promoting advance planning for funeral needs and protecting consumers’ right to choose a funeral since 1963. The organization also provides information on how to file a complaint against a funeral establishment or funeral director.

It is important to honor a decedent’s wishes regarding tissue and organ donation. This can be done by signing the donor space on the back of their license, including their wishes in their wills, and informing family members.


Some funeral providers enter into agreements with religious groups, burial societies, or memorial societies to arrange pre-need arrangements for their members at special prices. If representatives of such groups inquire about funeral arrangements on behalf of individual members, the provider must give those members price lists.

Your General Price List must include a non-declinable fee for basic services of the funeral director and staff, together with a listing of the principal services provided for that price. You may also list a separate non-declinable fee for “unallocated overhead,” that is, overhead not allocated to any of the goods and services listed on your GPL.

Families that choose to use insurance policies/assignments to pay for services and merchandise must be given a statement of your cash advance policy, a sample Insurance Processing Form and a sample Itemized Statement of Goods and Services Selected. Alternatively, you may prepare and display an itemized Statement of Merchandise and Service Selections for cash advance items that is comparable to your GPL and Casket Price List.

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