Funeral directors help families make arrangements when a loved one dies. They handle the details of wakes and other memorial services, set up transportation and craft announcements. Many funeral directors are also licensed to handle the physical aspects of interment, such as embalming, sanitation and cosmetics. Each state has licensing regulations for funeral directors. In Ohio, the state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors governs the profession.
Ohio does not require that funeral directors also be embalmers. However, this license does open additional professional opportunities. Those interested in applying for an Ohio embalmer’s license must hold the minimum of a bachelor degree and have completed at least 12 months of a mortuary science program.
To earn a license in Ohio, both embalmers and funeral directors must serve an apprenticeship. Funeral directors who do not seek an embalming license only have to serve for one year, while embalmers must serve at least two. A mortuary science student interested in embalmer and funeral director licenses can serve the apprenticeships concurrently for one year. Funeral directors and embalmers must serve under someone considered a master in the field. Funeral director and embalming masters must have at least five years of experience and complete a six-hour Ohio state master training class before taking on apprentices.
Ohio funeral directors and embalmers must pass an exam dealing with Ohio laws and rules for the profession. Embalmer applicants must also pass the National Board Exam given by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. Funeral directors who are not also embalmers need not take the National Board Exam, but must take the Ohio State Board Exam. Both tests are administered via computer and cover business aspects of funeral directing, law, accounting, merchandising, psychology, sociology and funeral history.
Funeral directors and embalmers in Ohio must submit to a criminal records check before licensure. The license is denied if the applicant was convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a number of offenses in Ohio, including rape, murder, assault, kidnapping, arson, aggravated robbery or burglary or voluntary manslaughter. Applicants must pay for the criminal records check.