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Mortician Job Description

Arjun Kulkarni
The career of a mortician must be one of the more offbeat careers around. The job description of a mortician is enlisted in this story.
Well, it is not as offbeat as one would imagine, as there are actually colleges in different parts of the world that train you to become an expert mortician. There are apprenticeships, which you can opt for under existing morticians to learn the art first hand. So clearly, a mortician is no longer someone who is considered to be on the fringes of society, a dark, nameless, and faceless man as has been fictionalized for years, but a responsible man, with a business to run.

The Makings of a Mortician

In a very general way, one can say that the mortician is the person entrusted in making the body of the deceased presentable enough for a funeral. Because, well, some deaths can be pretty grotesque to look at from the point of view of the onlooker. So, it is up to him to fix up the bodies and make for palatable viewing during the funeral.


The skills a mortician requires is a pretty wide-ranging one. After the postmortem report, the body of the deceased is sent to the mortician. He then embalms the body according to the rites followed by the family of the deceased.
The process known as embalming entails cleaning up the wounds of the deceased, applying a preservative solution to the body so that it does not decompose before the funeral and replacing the dull pallor with color. Sometimes, the lips of the deceased are sewn up as well.

Other Duties

Mortician duties also include directing the funeral. A more enterprising mortician will expand his business so that along with general mortician duties, he will be able to incorporate conducting the funeral, getting all the necessaries together, arranging for the venue and the priest, and making sure that the whole event is in order.
He may also work in a more unconventional, consulting role, helping the grieving family choose flowers for the wreath, helping families choose hymns to be sung, organize the order of eulogies to be given, arrange for transportation, etc.


Other than the more visible aspects of the job description, there are also a lot of crucial personal qualities to a good mortician. For starters, a mortician should not get freaked out by the sight of a dead body and other unspeakable things around the body.
Secondly, he should be sensitive enough to be able to handle the grief of the family of the deceased, and help them cope with their sadness. The mortician should also be able to handle the funereal event impeccably and ensure that there are no problems during the funeral.

Mortician Salary

The salary differs based on where he works. Urban morticians stand to earn a lot more than the ones in smaller towns. So the average salary is higher in metros.
The salary will also depend a lot on the range of services he offers to the family of the deceased. The more he has to offer his salary increases commensurately. The average mortician salary though, is pegged at USD 35,000 to USD 62,000 annually.
The job of the mortician is understandably a tough one, especially seeing that it is one very few people will be willing to do. But, someone has to be there to perform this activity and morticians make an admirable job of it.