How to Become a Mortician in Ohio

by Alex Burke; Updated September 26, 2017

In Ohio, a mortician is referred to as a funeral director. Ohio laws regarding the education and licensing of morticians are more stringent than those of other states. Ohio requires each applicant to obtain a four-year bachelor's degree in addition to attending a college of mortuary science. Other states require a two-year degree or less in addition to a mortuary science certificate. Ohio also requires morticians to pass two licensing exams instead of one.

Education and Pre-licensing Requirements

Complete your college education. Morticians in Ohio must hold a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college to qualify for licensing. There is no requirement for the type of degree obtained. However, courses in the sciences and in business may be advantageous for a mortician.

Complete 12 months of a mortuary science program. Mortuary science programs must be approved by the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The board can verify the legitimacy of a mortuary science program.

Obtain a criminal records check from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. The records check will result in a certificate that is provided directly to the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $40 for a BCI background check.

Apply for a state funeral director's registration before beginning your apprenticeship. An application for a funeral director's registration is available by contacting the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. The registration process requires the applicant to provide official college transcripts as proof of a bachelor's degree and a mortuary science degree. After your funeral director's registration application is processed by the board, you will receive in the mail the certificate of registration you will need to complete your apprenticeship.

Complete the application for a certificate of apprenticeship and receive your apprenticeship card. The certificate of apprenticeship initiates hands-on training with a licensed funeral director and must be returned to the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors within 10 days of commencing an apprenticeship. The certificate must be signed by both the applicant and the funeral director.

Apprenticeship and Licensure

Complete the apprenticeship and all required tasks. You have 12 to 18 months to complete the apprenticeship. Tasks required of the apprentice include assisting in at least 25 funerals, filing quarterly progress reports with the board and the completion of an in-person interview with a board member within 30 days of the first six months of the apprenticeship.

File a funeral director's termination of apprenticeship form with the board. The termination form effectively ends your apprenticeship and signals to the board you are ready to apply for your funeral director's license. You will also need to return your certificate of registration and your apprenticeship card when filing the termination of apprenticeship form.

Pass all exams with a score of 75 percent or better. Applicants wishing to become licensed as an embalmer and funeral director combined take the National Board Exam and the Ohio Laws and Regulations Exam at a cost of $400 and $120, respectively. Applicants wishing to obtain a funeral director's license without the embalming license must take the Ohio State Board Exam and the Ohio Laws and Regulations Exam at a cost of $150 and $120, respectively.

The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards is the provider of both exams and manages the exams through Pearson VUE. The ICFSEB sends scores directly to the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. You may be required to pay an additional $50 to the ICFSEB for each board you wish your scores to be sent to.

File an application for an Ohio funeral director's license. The complete application and license fee of $140 must be returned to the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors along with the termination of apprenticeship and all exam scores before a license can be awarded.

About the Author

Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.

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