Morticians, also called funeral directors or undertakers, help families plan funerals and arrange for the transportation, preparation and cremation of the deceased. Getting a job as a mortician requires an associate degree in mortuary science and a state license.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income of morticians in the U.S. was $61,460, or $29.55 an hour, in 2011. The median income in the occupation was $52,790. Half of all workers earn more than the median, and half make less. Workers in the top 10 percent of the pay scale earned more than $97,200 a year, and those in the bottom 10 percent made less than $29,490.
The bureau reports that morticians in New York led the nation with an average yearly income of $83,730 in 2011. Workers in New Jersey came in second, averaging $79,600. They were followed by those in Connecticut, at $77,350, and Massachusetts, at $73,830. Texas employed the highest number of morticians of any state, and workers there earned $49,840 on average. West Virginia had the highest concentration of morticians in the nation, and workers there averaging $50,990.
Almost all morticians work for funeral homes and crematories in the death care services industry, with a small percentage working for the federal government. The bureau says 29,220 of the 29,760 morticians in the U.S. in 2011 worked in the death care services industry, earning $61,340 on average. About 360 morticians worked for the government, averaging $71,440.
The aging of the baby boom generation is likely to cause an increased need for funeral directors. The bureau estimates total employment of morticians will increase by 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is 4 percentage points higher than the expected average for all occupations.