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For many people who lose a loved one, viewing the body is an important part of the funeral service and an opportunity to say goodbye. It is the mortuary cosmetologist's job to ensure that the deceased looks the way friends and family expect at this viewing. This job requires respect for the deceased, compassion for those left behind and an excellent command of cosmetology skills. In return, mortuary cosmetologists earn an average of $34,400 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In May of 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average hourly wage for mortuary cosmetologists was $16.54. Although experienced cosmetologists are sometimes called upon to work in mortuaries, most funeral homes hire an in-house mortician to prepare the deceased for viewing. Because mortuary cosmetology sometimes requires sewing, injections to replace lost muscle tone and makeup that disguises signs of illness, those with a degree in mortuary science are more likely to find employment in this field and make more money than those with just a cosmetology license. Mortuary cosmetologists who work in large metropolitan areas generally make more than those working in remote areas with few people.
- Vault: Mortuary Cosmetologists
- My Majors: Mortuary Beautician Career
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2013 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates NAICS 812200 - Death Care Services
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013 39-5012 Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists
Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.