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Career and Education Opportunities for Funeral Directors in Portland, Oregon

Funeral director career and educational opportunities abound in Portland, Oregon. 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.

A person working as a funeral director can expect to earn about $24 hourly or $51,910 yearly on average in Oregon and about $25 hourly or $52,210 yearly 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 Oregon and not quite as good as general Services category earnings nationally. Funeral directors work in a variety of jobs, including: embalmer, funeral arrangment director, and funeral prearrangement counselor.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can study to be a funeral director, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the Portland 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 Portland 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.
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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: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland 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.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.