Top of the class!
Education can be expensive. Whether you are studying medicine, law, education, teraching or any other higher education subject? The funeral indistry is no exception. We have our own colleges and trainig schools who teach tomorows funeral directors and embalmers all the tricks of the trade. In some states in America a mortuary science degree is essential if you want to work as a funeral director or embalmer. However overe here in the UK that is not necesary!
If you desire a career in the funeral industry in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales then one can simply start work in a funeral home strait way without gaining any formal qualifications. You can in this country have a very good career even opening up ypur own funeral home without ever setting foot in a class room. But times are indeed changing and large funeral corperations and even some independant funeral homes are now asking for formal qualifications.
There are a couple of ways you can obtain these. You can like me pay privately and attend a mortuary school off your own back and then enter the industry. But be warned this is a very expensive way of doing things and you may not get what you want in terms of tuition? Or you can get a modern apprenticeship where you work full time for a funeral home on minimum wage but they will send you to college one day a week to obtain your qualification? Or a tutor will come to your place of work and asses you. This usually takes up tp three years and at the end of it you will have a nationally recognised qualification. The great thing about an apprenticeship is that your employer will pay your tuition fees. But this does not come with no strings!! Some employers will be more than happy to pay your tuition fees but in return they may get you to sign a three year employment contract tying to the company for that time so that they can ger their investment back? If you leave before the contract is up then you could fave a hefty education bill?
Whichever way you do it look into it very, very carefully. Please do your reserach and do not be fooled by a fancy college prospectus. In the UK there are very few actual colleges where you can go and be taught in a classroom by a teacher and be given practical as well as written assesments. The college I attended was the Salisbury College of Funeral Sciences in Wiltshire. That was run out of a working funeral home. It is not in operation anymore as a college but still continues to function as a funeral home. They had en embalming and funeral directing course as well as a hygeine, health and safety course all geared up for the fubneral industry. Most courses in the UK are distance learning courses. These are when tutors will come and asses you at your worl place once a week or you may meet at another venue of their choosing along with other students? One thing to also bear in mind is if you go down the private route then you will have to find all your own textbooks and writing material as well as pay for any re-takes of failed exams. You will also be liable for all of your travelling costs and other expenses that an employer may be happy to pay so please bear that in mind?
The qualifications on offer if you wish to obtain them are nationally recognised and in some parts of the world internationally recognised. For example Australia have their very own division of the British Institute of Embalmers. So the BIE qualification may get you a job over there but may not get you a job in America? The other qualification is the NAFD or National Association of Funeral Directors diploma in funeral directing and funeral arranging. Both of these will stand you in good sted when coming to apply for jobs with other funeral firms? Like a lot of mainstream education programes the funeral industry have a whole erray of other courses you can go on and obtain a certificate in one thing or another? But if you ask me there is only one way to leanr this job and that is to actually do it. Education is great and qulifications are nice to have and they are there for the taking. If the opportunity presents itself and you want to go for it then i say go for it and all the very best of luck!