Funeral Cosmetology Education and Training Program Information

Classes in funeral cosmetology and restorative art are included in most associate's degree programs in funeral or mortuary science. Learn what is taught in these programs, along with the curriculum of bachelor's degree programs in funeral home management. Information is also available on alternative career paths and typical salaries.

View 1 Popular School »

Essential Information

Though state requirements for licensing as a funeral director vary, most students interested in a career in funeral science or funeral cosmetology pursue a 2-year associate's or 4-year bachelor's degree through an accredited program. Training in these programs addresses topics like embalming, counseling, biology and ethics. Laboratory experience is a common part of the curriculum. Students can typically enter these programs after earning a high school diploma or the equivalent.


Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science

A funeral director or mortician is responsible for handling all ceremonial and practical aspects of a funeral or memorial service in accordance with the wishes of the decedent and his or her family. Students in an associate's degree program in mortuary science learn a variety of skills in the sciences, grief counseling, embalming techniques and business skills.

Funeral cosmetology is usually taught in combination with restorative art. Students learn how to prepares body for viewing in a casket, how to mend or disguise trauma to the body and how to use cosmetics to restore a life-like appearance to the face. Students also learn about legal aspects of the funeral industry such as the laws surrounding disposition of the body, tax status and death certificates. Most programs in mortuary science require applicants to have completed a high school diploma or GED prior to enrollment.

Program Coursework

Though state requirements vary, most programs feature a combination of classroom education and practical experience in order to qualify for professional licensing exams. Programs typically combine funeral cosmetology with the topic of restorative art and teach these skills during the final year of the program. Mortuary science students may take courses in:

  • Microbiology
  • Human biology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Psychology
  • Business law and ethics
  • Funeral service law
  • Embalming

Popular Career Choices

Students interested in funeral cosmetology might specialize in embalming of the deceased. Other career options in the funeral industry include:

  • Hearse driver
  • Grief counselor
  • Funeral arranger
  • Cremation technician

Continuing Education Information

While every state in the U.S. requires funeral directors to be licensed, the actual requirements vary; students should check the necessary requirements with their state departments. Graduates of a program accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) are usually required to meet a minimum age requirement and complete an internship or apprenticeship in order to qualify to take the licensing exam. Some states may require separate licenses for funeral directors and embalmers.


Bachelor of Science in Funeral Home Management

Funeral industry professionals returning to complete a degree or students interested in studying a broad liberal arts education while preparing for a career might be interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in mortuary or funeral home management. There are fewer than ten programs accredited by the ABFSE in the U.S. that grant a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science.

These programs include courses in funeral cosmetology and restorative art with both classroom instruction and lab experience. Students learn ways to prepare a body for viewing in a funeral ceremony using plaster, wax and cosmetics to restore the face and body of the deceased. Most universities require students to have completed a high school diploma or GED before they are admitted to a program.

Program Coursework

In addition to the core set of courses for the profession, students are required to complete a full selection of general education courses in the humanities, business and social science. Typical coursework in the funeral home management curriculum can include:

  • Chemistry
  • Body presentation and cosmetics
  • Psychology of grief
  • Small business management
  • Embalming science

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of funeral directors was expected to increase as fast as the national average for all other occupations, at 12%, between the years 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Opportunities were expected to be best for those employees who had a broad education and who had skills in multiple areas of the industry, such as a funeral director with both management and embalming skills. The BLS also reported that as of May 2013, the median annual wage of a funeral director was $47,100.

Show me popular schools

Related to Funeral Cosmetology Education and Training Program Information

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
List of the Top Hair Stylist Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Certificates, apprenticeships and other degrees in cosmetology and hair styling can be earned primarily at technical and...

Online Schools and Colleges for an Aspiring Mortician

Morticians work in funeral homes arranging a funeral with a family, embalming, and laying the dead to rest at a gravesite. This...

How to Become a Beauty Department Manager

Find out how to become a beauty department manager. Research the education and training requirements, and learn about the...

How to Become a Funeral Arranger: Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a funeral arranger. Research the education and licensing requirements, and learn about the experience...

Become a Funeral Service Worker: Career Guide

Popular School

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Wayne State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Central Oklahoma include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Minnesota include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southern Illinois University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at St. John's University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics