What Courses Are Taken to Become a Morgue Technician?

Morgue technicians have to learn sensitivity and compassion.
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Morgue technicians don't just embalm bodies and prepare them for funerals. They also help counsel grieving people, presenting them with funeral options and offering ways to honor deceased loved ones. Mortuary science is a licensed profession, which means you'll have to meet your state's licensing requirements before you can start your career. A degree in mortuary science can help you meet your state's standards.

1 Core Classes

Most mortuary science degrees are two-year associate degrees, which means you'll have to take fewer core classes than you would in a bachelor's degree program. However, mortuary technicians need basic writing and communication skills, and generally have to take a semester of core classes. At Ivy Tech Community College, students take classes such as English composition, a math elective, public speaking and interpersonal communication.

2 Embalming and Funeral Preparation

All morgue technicians have to know how to prepare a body for a funeral, even if the deceased has severe injuries. Funeral preparation classes are a cornerstone of the mortuary science degree. Cincinnati-based College of Mortuary Science requires students to take funeral preparation courses such as anatomy, embalming theory, restorative art, cremation fundamentals, history or funeral service and clinical mortuary practice.

3 Psychology and Social Skills

People from all walks of life require funeral services, so you'll need to be comfortable counseling a wide variety of people and will have to display empathy for their losses. You'll take several courses in sociology and psychology. At Arapahoe Community College, students take courses in the role of death and bereavement in society, human relations in organizations, psychology and funeral directing and counseling.

4 Business and Law

A funeral home is a business, and you'll need to know how to ensure that business stays successful. You'll also have to comply with legal regulations. Ivy Tech Community college requires students to take courses such as business law, financial accounting, mortuary law and funeral directing. At many schools, you'll also complete a practicum or internship to gain hands-on experience working in a funeral home. This real-world background can help you master the legal and business basics of running a funeral home.

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.