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Mortuary technicians work in the funeral services industry, helping with the day-to-day operations. They perform a wide range of duties, ranging from receiving dead bodies into the mortuary to helping funeral directors transport the body out of the facility for burial. This job is suitable for people who are empathic, compassionate and organized. You must also be willing to work non-traditional hours, including evenings and weekends when the need arises.
Doing the Job
Mortuary technicians attend to deceased persons. When a dead body is brought into a funeral home, the mortuary technician receives the body, checks its identification, and then sanitizes and stores it appropriately. If an autopsy is to be performed on the body, the technician prepares the body for the examination. This involves moving the body to the autopsy table and passing tools and equipment to the pathologist during the procedure. When relatives come to collect the body for burial, the mortuary technician helps the funeral services director fill out the required burial paperwork, as well as move the casket out of the mortuary.
Aspiring mortuary technicians with a high school diploma can enter the profession through an apprenticeship or by earning an associate’s degree in mortuary science or a closely related field. Mortuary technicians must have excellent organizational, logistical, interpersonal and communication skills, as well as strong attention to detail. Technicians who are looking to become morticians or funeral directors can proceed to complete a bachelor’s degree and obtain a license to practice from their state's licensing board.
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.