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Hiring Hoosiers: Choosing a career in the funeral industry

Posted at 11:56 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 23:56:38-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Nov. 15 through Nov. 19 is National Registered Apprenticeship Week. It's a chance for businesses, governments, and schools to showcase the benefits of training through an apprenticeship.

One industry that needs workers looking for something new, and relies on apprenticeship programs to train new workers is the deathcare or funeral industry.

"We meet the families. We plan the whole funeral and stay with them," Leanne Hofmann, Funeral Director at Crown Hill Funeral Home said.

From the outside looking in, a funeral home is a place filled with grief and mourning. But for others lies the opportunity for a rewarding career.  

"The death care industry has several different options out there to help serve," Alex Putnam, Market Director for Dignity Memorial said. "One of them might be a funeral director and that's the one that most people think about when you think of a death occurring."

Putnam said the death care industry has been in desperate need of more workers for a long time.  

"A lot of our funeral directors sometimes come to us as a second career opportunity, looking for a career change. I would say that our industry has a lot of opportunities in different ways, but also is very rewarding," Putnam said. "At the end of the day when you're able to go home at night knowing you made a difference for the families you served and be able to help someone through the most difficult time in their life."

"I wanted to be a funeral director even when I was young. I went down a different path for a while in logistics, but I always wanted to be a part of it," Hofmann said.  

After deciding on a career reset three years ago, Hofmann became a licensed funeral director in June.  

"It's a strange industry. Deathcare kind of has its fears to it when you're thinking about it on the outside, but once you explore everything it has to offer it's extremely moving," Hofmann explained.  

For those interested in becoming a funeral director here are the steps: First, you must go to Mortuary Science School, which is about a two-year program. Then, you must take the National Board Exam. Once you pass that exam, you can start your apprenticeship at a funeral home for a year, before filling that role consoling families.  

The funeral industry is changing day-by-day, while still honoring traditions of the past. That's where you could come in, to bring new ideas to help create a lasting experience for loved ones.  

"We have to be able to adapt. It's more than just your typical funeral. People want to celebrate life," Putnam said.  

The salary for a funeral director can range from $53,000 to $72,000, according to Salary.com.  

For more information on how to get your start in the funeral service, visit Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetary or visit the National Funeral Directors Association website.

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