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Career and Education Opportunities for Funeral Directors in Gresham, Oregon

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for funeral directors in the Gresham, Oregon area. The national trend for funeral directors 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.

Funeral directors earn about $24 per hour or $51,910 yearly on average in Oregon and about $25 per hour or $52,210 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Services, people working as funeral directors in Oregon earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Services nationally. Jobs in this field include: funeral director and embalmer, funeral director / embalmer, and mortician.

There are forty-six schools of higher education in the Gresham area, including one within twenty-five miles of Gresham where you can get a degree to start your career as a funeral director. The most common level of education for funeral directors is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Gresham include:

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  • Food Service Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate activities of an organization or department that serves food and beverages.
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EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Funeral Director Training

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science which graduated zero and twenty-one students respectively 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

Embalmer

Licensing agency: Mortuary and Cemetery Board
Address: 800 NE Oregon St, Suite 430, Box #19, Portland, OR 97232

Phone: (503) 731-4040
Website: Mortuary and Cemetery Board

Embalmer & Funeral Service Practitioner Intern Apprentice

Licensing agency: Mortuary and Cemetery Board
Address: 800 NE Oregon St, Suite 430, Box #19, Portland, OR 97232

Phone: (503) 731-4040
Website: Mortuary and Cemetery Board

Embalmer Apprentice

Licensing agency: Mortuary and Cemetery Board
Address: 800 NE Oregon St, Suite 430, Box #19, Portland, OR 97232

Phone: (503) 731-4040
Website: Mortuary and Cemetery Board

Funeral Service Practitioner

Licensing agency: Mortuary and Cemetery Board
Address: 800 NE Oregon St, Suite 430, Box #19, Portland, OR 97232

Phone: (503) 731-4040
Website: Mortuary and Cemetery Board

Funeral Service Practitioner Apprentice

Licensing agency: Mortuary and Cemetery Board
Address: 800 NE Oregon St, Suite 430, Box #19, Portland, OR 97232

Phone: (503) 731-4040
Website: Mortuary and Cemetery Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Gresham, Oregon

Gresham, Oregon
Gresham, Oregon photo by Amadeust

Gresham is situated in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 101,221, which has grown by 12.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Gresham, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Gresham cost $219,200 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred three new homes were built in Gresham, down from three hundred five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Gresham are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 18.4% of Gresham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Gresham is 10.8%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Gresham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Gresham is home to the Linnemann and the Ruby Junction Maintenance Facility-Portland Light Rail System as well as Kane City Park and Davis City Park. Visitors to Gresham can choose from Best Western, Gresham Suites and Shilo Inn-Gresham for temporary stays in the area.