In the United States, the average mortician salary is $54,700 per year. Morticians are known as funeral directors in Canada and earn about C$45,000 (US$35,745) while those in the United Kingdom are also known as undertakers and make around £25,000 (US$34,916) per year. Those in Australia have salaries around AU$44,000 (US$34,276). In New Zealand, the range for mortician pay spans from NZ$45,000 (US$32,408) to about NZ$100,000 (NZ$72,039).
Read below how the particular country and experience impact the pay of morticians, who may also be referred to as funeral directors.
How Much Does a Mortician Make?
The table below shows the different salaries a mortician can expect to earn around the world.
|Mortician Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
In the following sections, we will explain the factors that determine a mortician salary, including country of practice, work experience and bonuses.
1. How Much Does a Mortician Make by Country?
Mortician Salary in the US
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors earn on average $54,700 per year, as of May 2016. Payscale reports the salary can range between $29,485 and $71,000 over the course of one’s career. Bonuses can sum up to $5,000, profit sharing opportunities can increase the incomes with another $2,700 per year, and commission – with about $1,500.
Mortician Salary in Canada
SalaryExpert reports that morticians are paid an average of C$75,953, while Payscale estimates the average at C$45,000 and the range of the salary during the course of one’s career between C$34,000 and C$65,600. Bonuses can sum up to C$7,500 and profit sharing – for $2,000.
Mortician Salary in the UK
According to the National Careers Service, the average salary for funeral directors at the beginning of their careers in the UK is between £15,000 and £17,000, with more experienced funeral directors earning between £18,000 and £25,000 per year. Highly experienced professionals can earn around £30,000 per year in the UK, or around US$39,360.
Mortician Salary in Australia
Morticians in Australia have salaries from AU$42,000 to AU$60,500, says Payscale and the median pay is AU$50,000 annually. Bonuses can sum up to around AU$750 per year.
Mortician Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, morticians, or funeral directors/embalmers, have salaries running from NZ$45,000 to NZ$50,000 per year. Highly experienced professionals, however, could earn as much as NZ$100,000 per year.
2. How Much Does a Mortician Make According to Experience?
Morticians in the United States with less than five years of experience earn approximately $37,000 to $45,000, according to PayScale. Salaries at 20 years run approximately $55,000 per year and continue to rise beyond 20 years.
In Canada, pay for beginners averages C$40,000 and reaches C$60,000 beyond 20 years.
In the United Kingdom, starting morticians make between £15,000 and £17,000, while pay increases to a range of £18,000 to £25,000 for experienced ones. Those in the “highly experienced” category are paid up to £30,000 per year.
Australia’s Fair Work Commission prescribes minimum weekly pay based on experience and “grades.” For example, a trainee who completed twelve years of school and has been out for three years is entitled to AU$614.80 per week, as of 2016. For those who have completed training, minimum weekly pay in the funeral industry ranges from AU$672.70 per week to AU$807.70, depending on grade.
3. How Much Does a Mortician Make According to Work Environment?
The size of the funeral home generally influences salaries of morticians. According to PayScale, for funeral homes in the United States with one to nine, employees made on average $39,701 per year. In companies of 10 to 49 employees, the average pay is $46,063, while the average stands at $50,000 for those companies of at least 50 employees in size.
PayScale reports that funeral homes in Canada with one to nine employees paid average salaries of C$41,749. Pay increased to C$52,500 for those with 10 to 49 employees, while funeral homes employing at least 50 paid salaries of C$56,460. In Australia, funeral home workers in companies with one to nine employees made on average AU$21.61, which translates to AU$44,949 per year. For funeral homes in New Zealand with one to nine employees, the average stood at NZD$51,886 as of 2013.
Typically, morticians are full-time workers and are constantly on call. Irregular work hours are quite common. While morticians keep regular hours for tasks such as overseeing embalming or meeting with families for arrangements, they must be available for funerals at various hours. Families may want to schedule visitations or wakes in evenings, though some choose to hold visitations immediately prior to the funeral services. Morticians must be available on weekends for funerals. Weekday funerals commonly take place at churches, cemeteries or other locations away from the funeral home.
Bonuses and Benefits
According to PayScale, bonuses for morticians in the United States can reach $5,700 per year, while commissions range from $970 up to $10,365. In Canada, bonuses span from C$98.99 to C$7,500. The average bonus for Australian morticians is AU$750.
Australian law entitles full and part-time employees to four weeks of paid leave per year. In New Zealand, salaried morticians also receive guaranteed paid vacation. Australia and New Zealand also have superannuation, whereby employers must contribute to the pension and retirement of their employees.
Generally, the services of morticians will be in strong demand. However, job growth likely will not follow the demand for funeral services. For example, employment of morticians in the United States should grow by seven percent, or by 2,100 jobs. In Australia, the number of openings through November 2019 for funeral workers is projected to be less than 5,000. The New Zealand government rates the outlook for morticians in that country as “poor” for new entrants, but “good” for those with experience.
The relatively weak employment prospects result in part from low turnover of morticians. Point in case, approximately 38 percent of morticians in Quebec, Canada, as of 2011, were aged 55 years or over. Also, these fields have a small number of participants relative to other professions.
Ownership of funeral homes largely by families or small entities also contributes to the low number of job openings. According to the National Funeral Home Directors Association, 86 percent of funeral homes in the United States were family-owned. Only 14 percent were owned or operated by publicly-traded corporations. On average, NFDA-member homes carried three full-time and two part-time employees. According to an April 12, 2016 report in The Financial Times, approximately three-fourths of funeral homes in the United Kingdom employed ten or fewer workers.
New morticians may experience challenges entering the profession, especially as new hires in funeral homes. Generally, most funeral homes carry small staffs. As shown by the substantial percentages of morticians above age 55, the industry has slow employee turnover. Employment prospects depend on finding major corporations that own funeral homes. With the experience in these enterprises, a mortician may consider opening his or her own funeral home business.
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