When a loved one dies, families are often confronted with dozens of decisions under great emotional duress. These decisions include whether the deceased will be buried or cremated, and the type of funeral service to be held.
The Board licenses and regulates funeral establishments, funeral directors, embalmers and apprentice embalmers; funeral service interns; cemetery brokers, salespersons and managers; and crematory establishments. The Board also investigates complaints against these professionals.
The Board regulates the licensing of Funeral Directors, funeral establishments and cremation establishments and investigates complaints against them. The Board also provides educational opportunities and promotes professional standards through its rules and regulations. For more information, select Laws & Regulations from the menu on the left.
If you have a question or need assistance, please contact the Board office. It is recommended that you call before you visit, so that we may be able to assist you at the time of your arrival.
Beware of impersonators claiming to represent the Board. These individuals often communicate via phone and demand personal information or payment of fines. The Board has issued a warning about these individuals and their actions. Access the warning here. The Board has updated its license lookup feature and now offers it in real time. This service is free to the public and is available 24/7. You can check a funeral director or embalmer’s license by visiting our License Lookup page.
Those interested in entering the funeral service profession must have a strong desire to help people at one of the most emotional times of their lives. They must also feel comfortable interacting with grieving families, understand the meaning of death and be willing to work an unpredictable schedule including nights, weekends and holidays.
Education programs are available at colleges and universities across the nation. Students in these programs learn the technical skills required in the funeral profession such as embalming, restorative art, funeral directing and the psychology of grief. They must pass national and state licensure exams before they can work in a funeral establishment.
The ABFSE is the only nationally recognized accrediting agency for college and university programs in mortuary science and funeral service education. Students who graduate from an accredited program can apply to take the National Board Examination sponsored by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. The Examination is composed of two sections: the arts and sciences.
The funeral industry is highly regulated and requires specialized training and certification. Students seeking to become funeral directors, embalmers or undertakers should contact their state licensing boards for education and licensing requirements.
The Board establishes qualifications for professions and occupations involved in death care, licenses establishments, funeral homes, embalming services and reduction facilities, and oversees the sale of preneed funeral arrangements and cemetery improvements and grounds. It also regulates funeral directors, embalmers, apprentices, and mortuary students and ensures consumer protection through proactive education and consistent interpretation and enforcement of the laws governing the industry.
Consumers shopping for a funeral have many decisions to make, particularly when choosing a casket. To assist consumers, the FTC has issued new guidance to help them make informed choices.
The funeral industry requires people with strong business acumen, because funeral homes often manage their own operations in addition to coordinating wakes and funerals. They must also be capable of handling large volumes of customers under stressful circumstances, including those who are grieving and often time-constrained.
In addition, they must provide information to help consumers choose the products and services they want for their deceased loved ones. This includes describing any product or service that is required by state law (such as embalming under specified conditions) and listing the price of any cash advance items such as flowers, obituary notices, pallbearer or clergy honoraria.
Many funeral service workers have interests in the Helping, Persuading and Organizing interest areas of the Holland Code framework. These characteristics help them to work well with the grieving public, which is one reason why funeral homes often offer grief support for survivors. Additionally, they must have the critical thinking skills necessary to assess a family’s wishes and make appropriate recommendations.