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.
Credentials Offered:Embalmer's Certificate
Funeral Service (A.A.S.)
Funeral Service Director's Certificate
Funeral Service Major
Graduation Date: May 2011
Fernandez earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from North Greenville and began teaching for the Cherokee County School District. After 20 years in education, though, the interest in funeral service was still there. “Since funeral service was still in the back of my mind, I thought it had to be a calling for me to pursue,” he said. “Then I found out Piedmont Tech had a funeral service program.”
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 5 percent from 2014-2024. Recent graduates from our program have found work throughout the Southeast.
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.
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: $45,740
- SC Salary Range: $24,890-73,380
- 83% placement rate for 2015-2017 graduates
- Entry Level Positions
- Funeral Director
- Funeral Home Manager
- Abbeville and White Mortuary
- Aiken-Capers Funeral Home & Monuments
- Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home & Cremation Center
- Bellevue Memorial Gardens
- Biggs Funeral Home
- Blizzard Funeral Home
- Bostick Tompkins Funeral Home
- Brice W. Herndon & Sons Funeral Home
- Carolina Funeral Service
- Carson Funeral Home
- Charlotte Care Center/SCI
- Cleveland 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
- Gilmore Mortuary
- Goins Funeral Home
- Goldfinch Funeral Home
- Gordon Funeral Home
- Graceland Mortuary
- Gray Funeral Home
- Greene Funeral Home
- Gubener Plastinate
- Harley Funeral Home
The Funeral Service Education program at Piedmont Technical College offers both an Associate in Applied Science degree and a certificate. 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 in Funeral Service Education must meet the requirements for graduation of the college and program-specific requirements. Available online only, the certificate was developed for students who are interested in becoming licensed funeral directors 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.
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.
The certificate program is offered completely online, and 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:
- Step 1: Apply to the college and complete the enrollment process
- Step 2: Take the necessary courses to become Program-Ready
- Step 3: Apply to the 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.
- Application Worksheet
The application worksheet is used to calculate points toward merit/competitive program entry.
- 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.
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 6-31
- Notification Emails Sent - July*
- 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.