Funeral directors held about 24,000 jobs in 2002. Eleven percent were self-employed. Nearly all worked in the death care services industry.
Employment opportunities for funeral directors are expected to be good, particularly for those who also embalm. However, mortuary science graduates may have to relocate to find jobs.
Employment of funeral directors is projected to grow more slowly than the average or all occupations through the year 2012, as the population and the number of deaths increase. The need to replace funeral directors who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons will account for more job openings than will employment growth. Typically, a number of mortuary science graduates leave the profession shortly after becoming licensed funeral directors to pursue other career interests, and this trend is expected to continue. Also, funeral directors are older, on average, than workers in most other occupations, and should be retiring in greater numbers between 2002 and 2012.
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