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SRT Funeral Home is on Highway 169 in Aitkin. Back in the day when this was built, you could be either a funeral director or mortician in Minnesota; the jobs were separated.

SRT Funeral Home is on Highway 169 in Aitkin. Back in the day when this was built, you could be either a funeral director or mortician in Minnesota; the jobs were separated.

At one point, I briefly thought about becoming a funeral director. Since Dad was a gravedigger, and I spent hours in cemeteries and funeral homes, I felt pretty comfortable in that environment.

Funeral directing appealed to me greatly when I was in high school trying to figure out feasible career options. I was a people person, organized, and dedicated. I knew I wouldn’t have a problem helping families making arrangements and coordinating the whole show. I also considered myself fairly empathetic, especially since I knew what it meant to experience the death of an immediate family member.

If I had grown up 25 years earlier, this career path would have been a viable option. But I lived in Minnesota, a state that no longer made the distinction between funeral director and embalmer/mortician. At one point, you could have been either a licensed funeral director or a licensed mortician. The former didn’t work with dead bodies, while the latter did. And actually working on dead bodies didn’t appeal to me as much as working with the living.

I think I could probably do the embalming in most cases. But what always held me back from considering this career is my lack of interest in math and science. I have a feeling that math and science figure predominantly in mortuary school. I would much rather work with words than numbers or formulas.

Maybe I should move to a state where I could be a licensed funeral director and finally live my dream 🙂 According to the National Funeral Directors Association, a number of states allow a separate license for funeral director. In many cases, you only need a high school diploma or equivalent. Examples include Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. I can’t even hop the border; all the states surrounding Minnesota do not make a distinction between mortician and funeral director.

What are some alternative career paths you considered?

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