How to Become a Mortician According to North Carolina Laws

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According to the National Funeral Director's Association, there were nearly 20,000 funeral parlors in operation within the United States as of 2010. To join those ranks in North Carolina and become a mortician or funeral director, you must undergo schooling related to funeral service, pass exams at both the national and state levels, and undergo a year-long apprenticeship with a licensed funeral home.

Obtain an education at an accredited school. According to the National Funeral Director's Association, North Carolina requires that a licensed mortician have a high school diploma and at least 32 credit hours from a program of mortuary science. According to the American Board of Funeral Service Education, the only accredited school offering courses in mortuary science within the state is Fayatteville Technical Community College.

Schedule, take and pass the national board exam. This can be done via the website of the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (pearsonvue.com). You may also schedule the exam by phone.

Undertake a one-year apprenticeship with a licensed funeral director. This must be completed in order to gain licensure.

Apply for licensure from the North Carolina State Board of Funeral Service. To do so, you must contact the board to obtain an application (see Resources). Submit an application for license, college transcripts and letters of recommendation to the board. All materials must be received by the North Carolina State Board of Funeral Service at least 30 days prior to your examination date.

Take and pass the State Funeral Director's Exam and Pathology Exam. Again, this test is administered via computer-based testing by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards and may be scheduled by Internet or phone (see Resources).

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you have been licensed as a mortician in the state of North Carolina, you must renew your license every year.

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