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Career and Education Opportunities for Funeral Directors in Elizabeth, New Jersey

For those living in the Elizabeth, New Jersey area, there are many career and education opportunities for funeral directors. There are currently 1,000 working funeral directors in New Jersey; this should grow 15% to about 1,100 working funeral directors in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for funeral directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. Funeral directors generally perform various tasks to arrange and direct funeral services, such as coordinating transportation of body to mortuary for embalming, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, procuring official for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.

A person working as a funeral director can expect to earn about $29 hourly or $61,150 per year on average in New Jersey and about $25 per hour or $52,210 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for funeral directors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Services in New Jersey and not quite as good as general Services category earnings nationally. People working as funeral directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: funeral prearrangement counselor, funeral counselor, and funeral director and mortician.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Elizabeth where you can study to be a funeral director, among 298 schools of higher education total in the Elizabeth area. The most common level of education for funeral directors is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be a funeral director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Funeral Director

Funeral Director video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, funeral directors perform various tasks to arrange and direct funeral services, such as coordinating transportation of body to mortuary for embalming, interviewing family or other authorized person to arrange details, selecting pallbearers, procuring official for religious rites, and providing transportation for mourners.

Funeral directors offer counsel and comfort to bereaved families and friends. They also direct preparations and shipment of bodies for out-of-state burial. Equally important, funeral directors have to formulate and direct funerals, burials, and cremations, arranging details such as floral delivery and the time and place of services. They are often called upon to furnish data on funeral service options and products, and maintain a casket display area. They are expected to formulate placement of caskets at funeral sites, and place and adjust lights, fixtures, and floral displays. Finally, funeral directors oversee funeral home operations, including the hiring and supervision of embalmers or other staff.

Every day, funeral directors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for funeral directors to manage pallbearers, and inform pallbearers and honorary groups of their duties. They are often called upon to receive and usher people to their seats for services. They also close caskets and lead funeral corteges to churches or burial sites. They are sometimes expected to confer with families or friends of the deceased to organize funeral details such as obituary notice wording and plans for services. Somewhat less frequently, funeral directors are also expected to formulate placement of caskets at funeral sites, and place and adjust lights, fixtures, and floral displays.

Funeral directors sometimes are asked to participate in community efforts for funeral home promotion or other purposes. and manage clergy members to perform needed services. And finally, they sometimes have to consider and negotiate prearranged funerals with clients.

Like many other jobs, funeral directors must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elizabeth include:

  • Casino Manager. Plan, organize, direct, or coordinate gaming operations in a casino. Formulate gaming policies for their area of responsibility.
  • Food Service Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.
  • Hotel or Motel Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that provides lodging and other accommodations.
  • Sales Manager. Direct the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer. Coordinate sales distribution by establishing sales territories, quotas, and goals and establish training programs for sales representatives. Analyze sales statistics gathered by staff to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor the preferences of customers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Funeral Director Training

St. John's University-New York - Queens, NY

St. John's University-New York, 8000 Utopia Pky, Queens, NY 11439. St. John's University-New York is a large university located in Queens, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,109 students and an admission rate of 56%. St. John's University-New York has a bachelor's degree program in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science which graduated four students in 2008.

CUNY LaGuardia Community College - Long Island City, NY

CUNY LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101. CUNY LaGuardia Community College is a large college located in Long Island City, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,285 students. CUNY LaGuardia Community College has an associate's degree program in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science which graduated two students in 2008.

American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service - New York, NY

American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, 619 West 54th Street - 6th Floor, New York, NY 10019. American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service is a small school located in New York, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 243 students. American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service has an associate's degree program in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science which graduated sixty-four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Certified In Thanatology: Certification in Thanatology (CT) is a foundation certification that enhances the professional designation established by the academic discipline of each certificate holder.

For more information, see the Association for Death Education and Counseling website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Certified Preplanning Consultant: Earning formal recognition of your professional expertise as an advance funeral planner is important to you and to your firm.

For more information, see the National Funeral Directors Association website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LICENSES

FUNERAL DIRECTOR

Licensing agency: Department of Law and Public Safety
Address: Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Mortuary Science, PO Box 45009, Newark, NJ 07101

Phone: (973) 504-6425
Website: Department of Law and Public Safety Division of Consumer Affairs Board of Mortuary Science

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elizabeth, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey photo by Cobber17

Elizabeth is situated in Union County, New Jersey. It has a population of over 124,755, which has grown by 3.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elizabeth, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Elizabeth are valued at $321,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Elizabeth, up from six the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Elizabeth are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and other transportation, and support activities, and couriers. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 12.1% of Elizabeth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elizabeth is 12.4%, which is greater than New Jersey's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Elizabeth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.5%, is more than both the national and state average. First Pentecostal Church, Christ Episcopal Church and Alliance International Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Elizabeth. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Elizabeth is home to the North Elizabeth Station and the Julian Station as well as Kellogg Park and Jackson Park. Visitors to Elizabeth can choose from Hampton Inn Newark-Airport, Centro America Express and Hilton Newark Airport for temporary stays in the area.