Funeral Service

funeral service

As the only program of its kind in South Carolina, and one of only a handful of public college programs in mortuary science in the United States, Piedmont Technical College’s ABFSE-accredited Funeral Service Education program is well equipped to prepare students for a rewarding career in the Funeral Service and Mortuary Industry.

Featured Story

Piedmont Tech Alumnus Describes Career as 'Final Event Specialist'

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A typical single guy in his early 30s, Cody Anderson sometimes attends social events and parties where he might meet a potential romantic interest. When they predictably ask him what he does for a living, he doesn’t miss a beat.

“I say that I am a ‘final event specialist.’ But then they...

A Career in Funeral Service

This program will also train you to enter a field that continues to be in demand. Job availability for funeral service graduates is expected to increase over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, employment in this field is projected to increase by 4% through 2026. Recent graduates from our program have found work throughout the Southeast.

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Special Application Requirements

The Funeral Service associate degree program has special program admission criteria which must be completed prior to applying for the clinical phase of the program. A student may be admitted to the college at any time in order to complete prerequisite and general education coursework.

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What Will I Do as a Funeral Service Professional?

A career in funeral service offers an opportunity to serve the community, as well as to help others in their greatest time of need. There is always a demand for professionals trained in this field, regardless of economic conditions. A career in funeral service can be demanding, but the rewards and personal fulfillment that come from helping families cope with their grief make the job worthwhile.

Some Job Duties May Include:

  • Maintain financial records and order materials and supplies for the funeral home
  • Confer with families or friends of the deceased to arrange funeral service details and issue notices to newspaper personnel
  • File death certificates and other legal documents
  • Help families resolve insurance claims and apply for funeral benefits
  • Work with clients to plan funeral services in advance
  • Supervise funeral service attendants and other staff
  • Prepare bodies for burial, entombment and cremation
  • Maintain compliance with local, state and federal regulations

Career Quick Facts

Career Outlook
  • Median Salary Average: $46,930
  • SC Salary Range: $24,930-$75,830
  • 100% placement rate for 2018-2019 graduates 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Entry Level Positions
  • Funeral Director
  • Embalmer
  • Funeral Home Manager
List of Employers

Recent graduates have found work at:

  • Abbeville and White Mortuary
  • Aiken-Capers Funeral Home & Monuments
  • Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home & Cremation Center
  • Baumgartner Funeral Home & Greenlawn Memorial Park
  • Bellevue Memorial Gardens
  • Biggs Funeral Home
  • Blizzard Funeral Home
  • Bostick Tompkins Funeral Home
  • Brice W. Herndon & Sons Funeral Home
  • Burgess Funeral Home and Crematory
  • Carolina Funeral Service
  • Carson Funeral Home
  • Caughman-Harman Funeral Home
  • Charlotte Care Center/SCI
  • Cleveland Funeral Home
  • Cole Funeral Home
  • Collins Funeral Home
  • Cox Funeral Home
  • Crawford Funeral Home
  • Culler-McAlhany Funeral Home
  • Curtis Funeral Home
  • Davenport Funeral Home
  • Davenport & McLendon
  • Davis Funeral Home
  • Dial-Murray Funeral Home
  • Ducket-Robinson Funeral Home
  • Dunbar Funeral Home
  • Dust to Dust Green Burial and Nature Reserve Cemetery
  • Edgefield Mercantile Funeral Home
  • Elliot Sons Funeral Home
  • Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home and Crematory
  • Faupel Funeral Home
  • Fletcher Funeral Homes
  • Fort Worth Funeral Home
  • Garvin & Garvin Funeral Home
  • Gilmore Mortuary
  • Goins Funeral Home
  • Goldfinch Funeral Home
  • Gordon Funeral Home
  • Graceland Mortuary
  • Gray Funeral Home
  • Greene Funeral Home
  • Gubener Plastinate
  • Harley Funeral Home
  • Harris Funeral Home
  • Heritage Funeral Home
  • Howell Funeral Service
  • Howze Mortuary
  • Jackson Brooks Funeral Home
  • James A. McAlister Funerals & Cremation
  • J. Henry Stuhr, Inc.
  • J. W. Woodward Funeral Home, Inc.
  • JF Floyd Mortuary
  • Job's Mortuary
  • Johnson Dash Funeral Home
  • JP Holley Funeral Home
  • Kennedy Mortuary
  • Kinsey & Walton Funeral Home
  • Lancaster Funeral Home & Cremation Service
  • Leevy's Funeral Home
  • Liberty Mortuary
  • Living Waters Funeral Home
  • Lord & Stephens Funeral Home
  • M. L. Ford & Sons Funeral Home
  • Mackey Mortuary Funeral Home & Cremations
  • Mahaffey-Wilson Funeral Service & Cremations (McLean Funeral Directors)
  • May's Funeral Home
  • McAlister-Smith Funeral & Cremation
  • McCray Funeral Home
  • McKnight Fraser Funeral Home
  • McLean Funeral Directors
  • McMahan's Funeral Home & Cremation Services
  • McNeill Funeral Home & Cremation Service
  • Miller Rivers Caulder Funeral Home
  • Mynatt Funeral Home
  • Napier Funeral Home
  • Nesmith-Pinckney Funeral Home
  • Oconee County
  • Palmetto Mortuary
  • Parker-White Funeral Home
  • Paye Funeral Home
  • Percival Tompkins Funeral Home
  • Petty-Bobo Funeral Home
  • Powers Funeral Home
  • Raymer Funeral Home
  • Richie Funeral Home
  • Robinson Funeral Home
  • Rowland Funeral Home
  • Samuels Funeral Home, LLC
  • Sanders-Thompson Mortuary
  • Scott's Mortuary
  • Shealy Milton Funeral Home
  • Shives Funeral Home
  • Shell House Funeral Home
  • Simmons Funeral Home
  • Seneca Funerals & Cremations
  • Service Corporation International
  • Smith McNeil Funeral Home
  • Sosebee Mortuary & Crematory
  • Stewart Funeral Home
  • StoneMor Partners L.P.
  • Stribling Funeral Home
  • Sullivan Brothers Mortuary
  • Sullivan-King Mortuary
  • Thomas McAfee Funeral Home
  • Thomas Poteet & Son
  • Thompsons Funeral Home
  • Troy Funeral Home
  • Watkins, Garrett, & Woods Mortuary, Inc
  • Westville Funeral and Cremations
  • Whitaker Funeral Home
  • Whitesell Funeral Home
  • Williams Funeral Home
  • Wood Mortuary
  • Woodlawn Memorial Park

Program Information

The Funeral Service Education program at Piedmont Technical College offers an Associate in Applied Science degree and two certificates. The A.A.S. offers students the educational foundation needed to seek licensure in South Carolina or in another state, both as a funeral director and an embalmer. Candidates for the associate degree or the certificate must meet the requirements for graduation of the college and program-specific requirements. The certificate programs were developed for students who are interested in becoming licensed funeral directors or embalmers in South Carolina.

Our program features state-of-the-art technology for embalming, cremation and restorative art. The cutting-edge equipment available to students provides hands-on experience.

State Licensure Eligibility Information

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Flexible Scheduling

Because many funeral service students at PTC already hold bachelor’s degrees and are attending classes while working full-time, we know it’s important to offer classes that can accommodate a busy life. Our classes are scheduled two days a week to increase your flexibility as you complete your degree. For funeral service professionals, we offer distance learning opportunities for continuing education.

Freshmen attend classes Mondays and Tuesdays, while upper classmen have class Wednesdays and Thursdays. Classes generally run from 1pm to 6pm both days.

All of the general education requirements for the associate degree are available online.

State of the Art Facilities

Students in the program learn the profession in a facility featuring state-of-the-art technology for embalming, cremation and restorative art.

The funeral service facility features a fully functional, custom designed Duncan Stuart Todd embalming lab that exceeds industry standards and includes the same cutting edge equipment found in modern funeral homes.

The restorative art laboratory offers students hands-on experience in facial reconstruction and restoration for proper viewing. Laboratories featuring sophisticated modeling equipment and instruments are conducted by experienced licensed instructors.

The program is also equipped with a B & L pet crematorium—the first of its kind in any mortuary science program in the country. This facility offers student students hands-on experience with the preparation of bodies.

Funeral Service Application Process

The Funeral Service associate degree is a limited enrollment program that has special admissions requirements. These requirements must be completed before you can be accepted.

If you are a new student, there are three key steps to complete before entering the Funeral Service associate degree program:

Are You Program-Ready?

Before applying for program entry, be sure you meet the requirements for acceptance. Start by connecting with an advisor and review program requirements.

We've also provided the resources below to assist you with the program acceptance process.

Funeral Service Fact Sheet

Fact Sheets are designed for students and advisors to review program-specific requirements and program application procedures. Please make an appointment with your advisor to discuss your academic goals and progress, and to develop your individualized degree plan.

Review the Fact Sheet

Application Worksheet

The application worksheet is used to calculate points toward merit/competitive program entry.  

Review the Worksheet

Graduation Plan

Our semester-by-semester graduation plans will show you when required courses in your major are offered. Following this plan will help you stay on track and graduate on time. 

Read Graduation Plan

Apply to the Funeral Service A.A.S. Program

Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to become program ready, it’s time to apply to the program.

Applications are accepted for entry into the Funeral Service program on the following schedule

  • Fall Entry
    • Application Dates - May 1-31
  • Spring Entry
    • Application Dates - Sept. 1-30
    • Notification Emails Sent - November*

Program applications must be submitted during the scheduled dates for this program to be considered. 

Note: If you haven't already done so, you must apply to the college before completing the Funeral Service program application. 

Complete Program Application

* Students accepted into any Funeral Service associate degree program will be required to attend a program orientation. Accepted students will NOT be excused from attending this mandatory orientation.