How Much Does a Mortician Make an Hour?

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When a friend or family member dies, many people experience not only the pain of losing a loved one, but also the inconvenience of having to iron out logistical details in the wake of their death. Morticians, funeral directors and undertakers can make this process easier. While many of us will only interact with a mortician in the days and weeks following the death of a friend or family member, this can be a rewarding and meaningful career path to consider. Morticians, undertakers and funeral directors serve important roles in the community, particularly during the most trying times. They must be compassionate, attentive, conscientious and respectful, among other traits. If you're consider a new career path, you might be wondering if you can make a decent living as a mortician.

Mortician Duties

The job of a mortician varies from day to day. In general, this career path falls under the umbrella of death care services, which means morticians perform a variety of tasks related to the deceased. Some of the duties include meeting with people while they create their estate plans to help them plan in advance for the funeral arrangements, and meeting with the surviving family members of a recently deceased person to help shepherd them through the funeral process. In some instances, the mortician may be responsible for transporting the body to the mortuary, embalming the body and making it look presentable before an open-casket service by serving as a makeup artist for deceased people. The mortician may also make other arrangements, such as with the church or cemetery.

Earning a Living

Morticians, undertakers and funeral directors are categorized together by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the most recent data available, these practitioners make an average of $27.07 per hour. Their average annual salary across the country translates to roughly $56,300.

It should be noted that some morticians make more or less than the U.S. average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest-paid morticians make approximately $14.07 per hour, while the highest-paid morticians make approximately $40.90 per hour, with annual salaries ranging from $29,260 to $85,060. It's likely that the highest salary is that of a funeral home owner.

States with the largest populations also have the highest number of morticians, funeral directors and undertakers. The states that pay the highest wages to morticians are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, New Jersey and Illinois. If you are looking for a career that involves helping others, biology, being involved in the community and running a business, this may be the field for you.


Sarah Kuta is an award-winning Colorado writer and editor with a journalism degree from Northwestern University. She regularly writes about jobs, careers, side gigs, work-from-home jobs, workplace culture, saving for retirement, startups and saving money. Her work has appeared in Don't Waste Your Money, The Penny Hoarder, the Associated Press, the Denver Post and other publications.

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