How do I get qualified as a funeral director in California?
Being a funeral director is an interesting and rewarding profession that means varying and meaningful work. Funeral directors build deep relationships with their clients, working closely with families and individuals during times of intense emotions. If you feel like helping others, displaying empathy, and making connections with people from all walks of life are in your veins, and job stability, personal and professional growth and entrepreneurial opportunities are important to you, becoming a funeral director might be a great career choice.
To become a qualified funeral director in California, you need to complete several steps and meet certain requirements.
Here's a general outline of the process:
Obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent. While not mandatory, completing a mortuary science program or a related field of study from an accredited college or university can be highly beneficial. This program should cover subjects such as embalming, funeral service management, grief counseling, and restorative arts.
Complete an apprenticeship under a licensed funeral director in California. The state requires a minimum of one year (365 days) of full-time or two years (730 days) of part-time apprenticeship. During this time, you will gain practical experience in funeral directing, embalming, and other essential funeral service tasks.
Obtain a license:
Apply for a funeral director license from the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau (CCFB), a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs. To be eligible for a license, you must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and complete the required apprenticeship. Additionally, you must pass the California State Law Examination and the National Board Examination, which covers funeral service subjects.
As part of the application process, you will need to undergo a criminal background check. You should have a clean criminal record to be granted a funeral director license.
Apply for licensure:
Complete the necessary application forms provided by the CCFB. These forms will require you to submit personal information, educational qualifications, and documentation of your apprenticeship. You will also need to pay the required application and licensing fees.
Schedule and pass the California State Law Examination and the National Board Examination. The State Law Examination focuses on California laws and regulations related to funeral service, while the National Board Examination covers the national funeral service standards.
After obtaining your license, you must fulfill ongoing continuing education requirements to maintain your license. The specific requirements vary, but generally, you will need to complete a certain number of continuing education hours within a specified time period.
It's important to note that licensing requirements may change over time, so it's advisable to verify the latest information from the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau or consult with a licensed funeral director in California for the most up-to-date guidance.