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Mortician Schools in Washington

Washington, located in the Northwest of our country, is home to majestic forests, gorgeous coastlines, and vibrant metropolitan areas. Those who enter the mortician career field in Washington will find that there are ample job opportunities, but that the salary is a bit below the national average. The salary for a mortician may be a bit higher in Seattle and other metropolitan areas, but the cost of living is also higher in these areas. The good news is that jobs are available and there are expected to be many more new jobs in coming years, which will likely increase the salary range statewide. In Washington, the Washington Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers regulates the mortician industry. According to the Board, those who wish to become embalmers in the state must complete 60 credit hours of college, including mortuary school, as well as two years of apprenticeship under a licensed embalmer. Those who wish to become funeral directors must complete an associate’s degree or equivalent two-year course in mortuary science at an accredited college, along with one year of apprenticeship experience. After beginning work, the Board requires morticians to complete 10 hours of continuing education every two years. Currently, there is only one program in the state that is accredited through the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). However, there are some great distance learning options available that will help Washington mortician students meet their educational goals.

Washington’s Mortician Employment Environment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Washington in the upper-mid range for mortician employment rates, with between 360 and 710 morticians currently working in the state. On the other hand, BLS data shows that the salary range for morticians in Washington is in the lowest range. At this time, morticians in the state of Washington can expect to earn between $36,970 and $44,850 a year, which is a bit below the national average. This does not mean that the mortician career field is a poor choice in Washington. In fact, now is the ideal time to enter this field because the future of the career is very bright and morticians who enter t field now are likely to see growth in both job opportunities and pay rates in the next decade.

The Future of the Mortician Career in Washington

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the funeral services industry is expected to grow by around 18% over the next 10 years. This is faster than the average predicted growth for all careers. This outlook is good news for mortician students because it means that there will be many new open positions and that many employers, especially in high-demand areas, will be required to offer higher salaries in order to lure the most highly qualified applicants.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

  • Program Link: Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Service Education
  • Description: Founded in 1949, Lake Washington Institute of Technology has campuses in Redmond and Kirkland for student convenience. Students who attend the funeral service education program at Lake Washington enjoy the quality of an accredited program as well as a wide variety of student support services to help ensure success. While the school does not offer on-campus housing, the school will help student in need locate suitable housing in the area. Lake Washington offers students a full college experience, with student activities and organizations as well as locations in vibrant communities in which students can feel at home.
  • Accreditation: American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
  • Program: associate’s degree
  • Average Program Length: seven quarters
  • Tuition: $14,502 (total cost)
  • Fun Fact: Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers interested students the chance to attend information sessions and an open house to learn more about the school.

Des Moines Area Community College

  • Program Link: Advanced Standing Diploma in Funeral Service Education
  • Description: Des Moines Area Community College offers students an online, funeral home-based funeral service program. This program is designed for students who are working in a funeral home and it is the student’s responsibility to find and secure employment before signing up for the program. During this program, students will be expected to complete between 8 and 16 hours each week of funeral home experience as well as to meet via online video chat with professors during designated office hours. Students will also be required to complete on-campus residency requirements of 2-5 days each in Ankeny, Iowa. The program is fully accredited by the ABFSE. Students who complete this program have a first-time national board pass rate of 83% in arts and 93% in science.
  • Accreditation: American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
  • Program: diploma
  • Average Program Length: 12 months
  • Tuition: $272/credit hour (out of state)
  • Fun Fact: DMACC offers students online academic advising and other services to help with student progress.

Arapahoe Community College

  • Program Link: Associate of Applied Science
  • Description: Arapahoe Community College offers an online associate’s degree in mortuary science that allows students from anywhere to get the degree they need. While all of the coursework for this program is online, students will be required to travel at their own expense to the campus for three labs and an internship. Because of the time and travel commitments of this program, it is vital that interested students take the time to talk to or meet with school representatives to discuss costs and scheduling before making a final decision. Full program details are also available here.
  • Accreditation: American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
  • Program: Associate’s degree
  • Average Program Length: 18 months – 2 years
  • Tuition: $358.55/credit hour
  • Fun Fact: Students can complete this program part-time or full-time.