[Introduction] The funeral industry is not a popular one, but for those who are empathetic and willing to help those with lost loved ones go through the most difficult times, this major can be a good choice. So, which schools in Canada offer funeral related majors? What are the professional skills taught in this major? How are the employment prospects and salaries? How do netizens and UtoCanada view this major? Let’s take a look!

Introduction to the Canada Funeral Directing Major

Life can be predicted, but death cannot be timed. Canada's funeral industry helps make plans for the aftermath according to the circumstances of the deceased. Funeral and cemetery services are extremely professional and accommodating. When the deceased is sent to the funeral home, the family will no longer see the body until the day they say goodbye. The funeral home will make final fixes and apply make-up to prepare the deceased for their funeral so that the deceased can have a dignified last reunion with relatives and friends
In Canada, colleges with this major cooperate with the Provincial Regulatory Authorities and are approved by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario. Students need to complete a one-year work arrangement before obtaining the permit. Students must complete a full-time paid internship arrangement in a funeral home after successfully completing the exam in the second semester. In the third to fifth semesters, Students are responsible for finding their own work placement with a licensed Ontario funeral establishment.

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What knowledge and skills do students learn in the Canadian funeral directing major?

hese Canadian college majors provide students with professional skills and knowledge, and a chance to work in internship positions, which enable them to prepare for a career in the funeral industry. Generally speaking, students in this major have to take the following three types of courses:

  • Sciences: including anatomy, microbiology, pathology and other science courses. Students learn about how the human body works and the protocols for managing situations such as infectious disease or virus in the health care industry.
  • Practical skills: Students will learn embalming and restorative art as part of their trade, but will also learn general business and communication skills that will prepare them to manage or own a mortuary. Lab work will be part of the curriculum, and work placements will give students the opportunity to observe and practice these skills in real-world environments.
  • Ethics course: Students will study the ethical and legal components of the funeral industry and will also study the emotions and behaviours connected with loss and grieving to gain a better understanding of their clients’ situations to provide them with better care.

Employment prospects of Canadian funeral management graduates

In Canada, graduates of funeral services who have successfully obtained a license can serve as funeral directors, funeral home owners or managers. The average starting salary in this field is about $30,000 per year. According to statistics, graduates of this major can expect higher salaries with experience. It can be said that this is a profession gets better with age.
In China, the employment fields of in funeral services graduates include: civil administration, funeral services, funeral technology (preservation and plastic surgery, cremation, etc.), planning and design, and funeral marketing. In funeral homes and funeral service centres, they are mainly engaged in funeral management and service work, as well as cosmetic surgery, cremation, ashes disposal and other funeral technical work. For jobs in cemeteries and martyr memorial building units, employees mainly engage in planning and design, renovation, environment and facility maintenance, and other services and management. In relevant administrative management agencies, the work is about participating civil affairs, social security and other government departments in relevant administrative management agencies to carry out funeral management, etc. Engaged in publicity, service and management in education, training, scientific research institutions, hospice hospitals, body organ donation and other funeral affairs related units. Other types of jobs include engaging in publicity, service and management in education, training, scientific research institutions, hospitals, organ donation and other related affairs.

Job description of a Funeral Director/Mortician

According to the PayScale description,

In general, the funeral director/入殓师mortician will make funeral arrangements and conduct the funeral for the deceased. They will communicate with relatives to help them choose cremation and other funeral services, such as memorial services, decorations and coffins. They deal with clients who are going through difficult times, so they are required to be considerate and professional.

Customer service skills are essential. When performing funeral services, the funeral director should provide comfort to the deceased's family and ensure that the funeral is carried out smoothly. Duties also includes applying makeup, retouching and selecting the coffin. The embalmer needs to preserve and repair the body. The mentoring division will have its own team, so teamwork skills are also very important. At the same time, qualified physical conditions and a driver's license are also required for the job. In addition, work experience and related licenses are also a must for graduates to find work.

Specifically, the duties of the funeral director/embalmer include:

  • File burial permits and complete all necessary paperwork related to the death process.
  • Use anti-corrosion equipment and machinery properly and safely
  • Plan and arrange funerals in accordance with legal requirements and with the utmost respect for the deceased’s last wishes.
  • Organize the transport of the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home and from the funeral home to the cemetery.
  • Assist families in making funeral arrangements and advise them on the financial obstacles they face.

》Salary of graduates in funeral directing: The decisive factors & annual income

According to PayScale statistics, in Canada, the average salary of the funeral director/embalmer is $46,089 CAD, the lower-end salary is at $30,503, and the higher-end is at $65,958.

The best schools in Canada for funeral directing

Humber College

Humber College is one of the largest public colleges in Canada. It was founded in 1967 and is located in the west of Toronto, Ontario. Its excellent academic atmosphere has given Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning a good reputation in Ontario.汉博的殡葬管理专业(Embalming)学院文凭课程吸引了来自世界各地的学生,它也是安大略省唯一设置英语殡葬专业的学院。学院确保学生正在学习的是最前线的课程设计与行业投入。 他们将了解殡仪服务实践和理论的各个方面。 遗体防腐实验室课程、心理课程、葬礼策划课程和商业管理课程为学生提供全方位的职业准备。

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Summary: UtoCanada’s views on the funeral directing major

There is a classic line in the movie, Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee: “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” This is an easterner’s understanding of death. Death and funerals are considered inauspicious. Due to people’s lack of knowledge of this field and the very closed world of the industry of death, Asians tend to be prejudiced about professionals in the funeral industry who often deal with death; they may even find it too taboo to discuss. However, these professionals comfort the family of the deceased to make them believe that death is not the end as deceased still walks onward with dignity.

In traditional Chinese culture, people always avoid the word "death.” However, in terms of civil affairs, the funeral is only a part of it. As people have increasingly high demands for funeral services, the society needs more professional skilled talents. With the improvement of people's living standards, the quality of funeral services improves, so more staff are needed to provide these related services. If you are really interested in this major, then don’t worry about it being weird.