Funeral homes may employ two types of funeral services administration professionals, or have one individual manage both functions. Funeral directors arrange funeral services for decedents' families, such as preparing the remains for viewing and coordinating burial services. Funeral service managers run the business side of funeral homes, such as managing budgets, placing advertisements and determining the best prices for maximizing revenue. If you want to work in funeral services administration, you can expect to earn between $60,000 and $80,000 annually.
Funeral Director Salary
The average annual salary of a funeral director was $60,390 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (See reference 3) If you are among the top 10 percent of earners in this field, you'd make over $94,050 per year. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $30,700 annually. Top earners may work in states where living and housing costs are higher, or for larger funeral homes. Lower earners may work for smaller funeral homes. Other factors affecting funeral directors' earnings are length of experience and the lack of qualified funeral directors in specific areas. Those with more experience are likely to earn higher incomes. Employers may pay also pay more to attract more qualified funeral directors to make funeral arrangements for families, prepare the remains of the deceased and coordinate burial times with cemeteries.
Funeral Services Manager Salary
Funeral services managers may help funeral directors plan services, but they primarily run the operations of funeral homes -- managing budgets, hiring groundskeepers and employees, ordering furniture and supplies and promoting funeral homes in the yellow pages. Some may also run multiple funeral homes. Funeral services managers earned average salaries of $79,930 per year, according to 2012 BLS data. (See reference 4) If you are a top 10-percent earner on this job, you'd make more than $140,740 annually. Those in the bottom 10 percent made less than $38,420.
Salaries by State
In 2012, the highest-paying state for funeral directors was Massachusetts, where they earned $82,780 per year, according to the BLS. New Jersey and Rhode Island paid the second and third highest salaries of $79,830 and $78,220, respectively. If you worked as a funeral services manager, you'd earn the highest salary in New York, according to 2012 BLS data -- $149,620 annually. You'd make the second and third highest salaries in Connecticut and Indiana at $109,260 and $107,460, respectively. (See references 3 and 4)
The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for funeral services managers. It predicts an 18 percent increase in jobs for funeral directors from 2010 to 2020, which is statistically about average compared to the 14 percent growth rate for all occupations. Increases in an aging population may increase jobs for all funeral service administration professionals. People are also making funeral arrangements in advance, which can positively impact jobs for funeral directors and funeral service managers. (See reference 2)
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Funeral Directors Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Funeral Directors: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Outlook: Funeral Directors
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Outlook: Funeral Service Managers
- The American Board of Funeral Service Education
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images