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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My True Calling?

I took a very in-depth career test a few years ago.  At the end of the test, it listed 100 careers that would be a good match for me based on my answers from questions about personal characteristics, strengths, likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. 

The results were ranked 1-100 with #1 being the best career match for me. 

My number ONE was....

A funeral director

Very interesting.  At first I thought this was just weird.  I'm matched to work with really sad, depressed people and dead bodies!  My mom convinced me it was because I would be great at comforting people in their greatest time of need. 

I never gave it much thought until this season of The Bachelor.  One of the contestants still in the game is a funeral director.  I also just saw the new Anthony Hopkins movie, The Rite, last week and the main character is a funeral director/embalmer. 

Shawntel, The Funeral Director/Embalmer contestant of ABC's The Bachelor
 Is this the hot new job of 2011?  Was this my one true calling?  I did a little research and this is what I found:

A good funeral director has:

-  A steely resolve
-  A strong stomach
-  Tenacious attention to detail
-  2 or 4 year degree in mortuary sciences (that's a degree...I'm not sure how well that would have gone over at the Pi Phi house in college)

Studying to be a funeral director would include courses in business management, anatomy and physiology, pathology, embalming techniques, restorative art, mortuary science safety and psychology of grief and bereavement counseling.

To become a funeral director and/or embalmer, you must take the National Board Exam, followed by 12-24 months in a residency program, and finally applying for a state law exam for your official license.  Most people do a formal internship before starting this process. 

There is even a school right here in Houston for funeral services: The Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services.  Their slogan: "Where Funeral Service is Our Only Major."  Catchy.

Finally, I learned that funeral directors are way underpaid for what they do: $32,000-$53,000 is the average salary of a funeral direct.  Embalmers make an average of $29,000-$46,000. 

Hope you learned something today.  I know I did. 

*Quick tip- if this topic interests you and you do a Google search on it, prepare yourself for the images...I wasn't ready.

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