Mortician Salary California

Many people want to live in California, a state of megastars and breathtaking beaches. If you are one of the fortunate individuals who now live in California and wish to pursue a career as a mortician there, you are entering an excellent sector. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is among the states with the highest employment levels. Mortician salary in California is the best in the United States.

In our update today, we shall detail all you need to know on how to become a mortician in California. How much are morticians paid in California? How long does it take to become a mortician in California? Are there mortician schools in California? All these and many more questions are queries we shall address in this update.

Should I Become a Mortician?

Morticians, often known as funeral directors or undertakers, assist the relatives of the departed by taking care of numerous funeral-related matters. Moving the body to a mortuary, preparing the remains for a ceremony, carrying out ceremonies in line with the family’s spiritual needs, and making arrangements for the body’s eventual disposition are all tasks that must be completed.

Funeral service professionals are typically required to be on call 24 hours a day, including evenings and weekends, which makes the work demanding and emotionally taxing. To protect themselves from high temperatures, morticians who work in crematories must wear protective clothing.

A mortician’s main responsibilities include:

  • educating clients about several options for cremation, burial, and other ways to handle the body of the deceased.
  • Recommending coffins, urns, floral bouquets, and other funeral decors.
  • Embalming the body and using lifelike funeral makeup to prepare the body for viewing
  • Writing obituaries and funeral programs
  • Arranging for funerals and church services
  • Facilitating counseling sessions with clients who are grieving or recommending external sources of help
  • Arranging for transportation to and from the burial site from the reception location
  • Completing and submitting death certificates to the government
  • Assisting the surviving family members with the transfer of the deceased’s property

How much are Morticians paid in California?

For morticians, California offers a diverse labor market. There are approximately 1,870 morticians working throughout the state, and they are paid an average of $45,500 to $50,230 annually. This state is excellent for becoming a mortician because the pay is slightly higher than the national average. The best way to stand out from the competition and land a job paying at the top of the pay scale is to obtain a top-notch degree, further certifications, and exceptional apprenticeship experience.

Mortician Career Outlook in California

Over the next ten years, the BLS projects that the career field of funeral services will grow at a pace of about 18%. Additionally, as present morticians retire, an abundance of new jobs will be created by the aging mortician workforce. The pay will probably rise as there is a greater need for qualified specialists. These elements combine to make this the best moment to study to become a mortician in California.

How to Become a Mortician in California

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Candidates must hold an associate’s degree in order to be considered by state licensing boards that grant credentials to morticians. Though a few are bachelor’s programs, the majority of mortuary science programs approved by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) are associate’s degree programs. States could demand that applicants for licenses complete an authorized curriculum. Professional ethics, anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, pathology, embalming, psychology and counseling in the funeral industry, restorative art, federal regulations, and mortuary legislation are typically covered in the course material.

Additionally, morticians who want to open their own firms in the future can profit from business training. A big portion of a mortician’s profession is engaging with families, which may require sensitive yet effective conversational skills in order to ascertain families’ preferences during a very stressful period. Communication courses can be helpful in this situation.

Step 2: Complete an Apprenticeship

The ABFSE mandates a one- to three-year apprenticeship for morticians. Depending on the criteria of the state, the apprenticeship may be completed prior to, during, or after the formal educational process. In certain states, the apprentice must possess an apprentice license. They only permit apprentices in the mortuary to work directly under the direction and supervision of an experienced professional.

Step 3: Pass a Licensing Exam

You must pass a state license test in order to become a mortician. To qualify for licensure, applicants must be at least 21 years old, have finished a recognized 2-year degree program, and have completed an apprenticeship program. The national exam covers topics in psychology, business law, funeral service merchandising, history of the funeral service, microbiology, pathology, restorative arts, anatomy, and embalming. The licenses for funeral directors and embalmers are issued separately in some states.

Step 4: Maintain License and Obtain Advanced Certificates

To keep their licenses, morticians must take part in continuing education programs in several states. A mortician can stay up to date on industry developments and trends, as well as legislation governing funeral services, by continuing their education.

On-site and distance learning are also possibilities for continuing education. Webinars, teleconferences, and online coursework are examples of distance learning opportunities. Professional development seminars, workshops, and courses are available on-site.

A mortician can differentiate themselves in the industry and open up more career choices by earning optional credentials, like the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) title provided by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.

A license, at least an associate’s degree in mortuary science, and one to three years of experience in an apprenticeship program are requirements for aspiring morticians. Advanced certificates and licenses influence high mortician salary in California.

How long does it take to become a mortician in California?

Based on the education requirements above, the education for mortuary science takes from 2 years to 4 years, depending on if you get your bachelor’s degree or your associate’s degree. However, it will still take you around 3 years to do apprenticeships that allow you to shadow a more experienced mortician.

Mortician Schools in California

We have answered your questions on how much are morticians paid in California and how to become a mortician in California, including a mortician’s salary in California. Let us look into mortician schools in California and their details.

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Below are mortician schools in California ranked among the best.

American River College

Sacramento’s American River College provides students with an approved associate’s degree in funeral service education. The ARC promises a setting rich in tradition and opportunity, with alumni like Guy Fieri and Joan Lunden. In addition to providing students with a top-notch education, ARC also gives them access to a wide range of support services, such as child care, peer tutoring, career services, and more.

Click here to enroll

  • Accreditation: American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
  • Program: Associate’s degree
  • Average Program Duration: 2 years
  • Tuition: $46/unit (in state); $257/unit (out of state)
  • Fun Fact: American River College has roots that trace back to 1942.

Cypress College

The associate’s program in mortuary science at Cypress College, which is situated in Cypress, is very reasonably priced and accredited. Students who graduate from Cypress can be confident that they are completely equipped for the demands of a mortician career because of the school’s 96% in arts and 100% in science first-time licensure board pass rates. In order to provide a well-rounded educational experience, Cypress students also have access to a wide range of student support programs and extracurricular activities.

  • Accreditation: American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
  • Program: Associate’s degree
  • Average Program Length: 2 years
  • Tuition: $46/unit (in-state); $236/unit (out of state)
  • Fun Fact: Cypress College is in close proximity to Disney’s theme parks, Knott’s Berry Farm, and beautiful beaches.

Click here to enroll

Arapahoe Community College

An online associate’s degree in mortuary science is available from Arapahoe Community College, enabling students from all around the world to complete their education. Although this program’s coursework is entirely online, three laboratories and an internship will require students to go to the school on their own dime. Full details are available here.

A certificate obtained from Arapahoe helps students negotiate for a better mortician salary in California

  • Accreditation: American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
  • Program: Associate’s degree
  • Average Duration: 18 months – 2 years
  • Tuition: $358.55/credit hour
  • Quick Fact: Students can complete this program part-time or full-time.

Is a mortician the same as an embalmer?

We know of morticians and we have also heard of embalmers. But, is a mortician the same as an embalmer?

An embalmer is a person who cleans and preserves bodies before they are ready for burial. A mortician is someone who assists in planning funerals, works with grieving and manages the burial procedure. Both professions demand a high level of respect for the deceased, although embalmers concentrate more on the scientific side of death while morticians concentrate more on the service side.

While some funeral directors may also embalm bodies, not all funeral directors do. The phrase “funeral director” refers to the funeral home employee who is in charge of planning every detail of the services for the deceased. Before they may call themselves funeral directors, individuals must successfully complete extensive education and certification requirements.

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Where do Morticians make the most money?

Though high mortician salary in California is on the high side, some states still pay higher. The Table below lists the states with the highest average yearly salaries for morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors. The chart also includes the number of jobs held by morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors in each state and the entry-level pay (determined by the pay of the bottom 10% of earnings). According to the chart, Delaware is the top-paying state for morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors, with annual compensation of $79,440. Minnesota comes in second (with an average yearly pay of $75,310).

Entry Level
# of
Empl. i
1Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area, Minnesota$98,120$46,64070
2Champaign-Urbana, Illinois$96,460$60,86040
3Lincoln, Nebraska$87,580$71,33040
4Central Missouri nonmetropolitan area, Missouri$86,610$41,61040
5South Illinois nonmetropolitan area, Illinois$81,880$43,36040
6Edison-New Brunswick, New Jersey$80,630$53,350180
7Binghamton, New York$80,200$55,49040
8Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts$79,480$39,720420
9New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York$76,520$45,7501,130
10Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington, Wisconsin$76,160$47,780310

Mortician salary per hour in California

It should be noted that not all morticians earn the national average. The lowest-paid morticians earn about $14.07 per hour, while the top-paid morticians earn about $40.90 per hour, with annual incomes ranging from $29,260 to $85,060, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most often, the person making the highest compensation is the proprietor of a funeral home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Mortician a high-paying job?

In the US, a funeral director or mortician has an average salary of $116,458. Funeral directors and morticians typically receive a bonus of $6,425, or 6% of their annual income, with 100% of employees indicating that they do.

Do Morticians make good money in California?

It is ok to say morticians make good money in California because, in Los Angeles, California, the average salary for a mortician is $66,287 per year and $32 per hour. A mortician can expect to make between $46,136 and $80,671 a year on average. For a mortician, an associate degree is often the highest level of education.

Is becoming a mortician hard?

Although being a mortician demands a significant amount of commitment and work, the rewards are well worth the effort.

What are the requirements to be a mortician in California?

the age of 18. possess a degree equal to an associate’s in science, arts, or both. have not committed any offenses that would disqualify them from receiving a license under Section 480 of the Business and Professions Code.


California has one of the largest populations in the united states which makes it a thriving hub for morticians and the funeral business. There is never an end to how much you can earn as a mortician in California. A Mortician’s salary in California depends on your experience, and certification as well as how you arrange your services.

Lastly, visit the Apply for a Job homepage and also check out our Salary category, for more essential salary information.

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