Licensure Requirements

Individuals must be licensed by the State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey to engage in the practice of mortuary science, embalming or funeral directing. Licenses must be renewed every two years. New Jersey offers inactive licenses. Reciprocal licenses are available to individuals who are licensed in other states and meet certain requirements. New Jersey does not offer a separate embalmers license. 

The New Jersey State licensing requirements are:

 Minimum Age:
21
 Minimum College:
2 years
 Mortuary School: 1 year
 Residency/Citizenship: Must reside in NJ during training and be a U.S. Citizen.
 Testing: Pass state and national qualifying exams.
 Internships: 2 to 3 years*

*A shorter, one-year internship applies to students who have completed three academic years of instruction in a college or university.

In addition to the minimum requirements above, before they can be licensed, interns are required to:

  • Embalm at least 75 bodies
  • Arrange at least 25 funerals
  • Conduct at least 75 funerals

An internship may not exceed three years, although on occasion the state board will grant an extension. Visit the Internship section for more information.

Examinations

Upon completion of all schooling and internship training, individuals are required to take an exam for licensure. There is a $50.00 initial examination fee required.

Prior to examination, as outlined in N.J.S.A. 45:7-50, all individuals must submit to the State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey evidence verified by oath of:

  • Age, U.S. Citizenship, and New Jersey residency for at least six months prior to examination (note that all interns are required to reside in New Jersey for the length of the internship).
  • Certificate from the New Jersey Commissioner of Education verifying that all schooling (high school, at least two years of college, and one year of mortuary school) has been completed.
  • Certificate from a licensed New Jersey funeral director attesting to the completion of one or two years, whichever applicable, as a registered trainee under his or her supervision.

If an individual does not pass the examination, they can retake the examination at the next or any subsequent regularly scheduled exam. The cost for re-examination is $25.00.

License Renewal

Once licensed, funeral directors are required to renew their licenses every two years. Each licensee is required to earn a minimum of 10 continuing education units (CEUs) prior to each biennial license renewal. The courses/programs must be approved by the State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey and meet certain requirements to be counted.

For renewal, according to N.J.A.C. 13:36-10.3:

a) Each applicant for biennial license renewal shall complete a minimum of 10 credit hours of continuing education during every biennial licensing period, consistent with the requirements of (b) and (c) below. 

(b) A licensee shall obtain 10 credit hours of continuing education in courses or programs approved by the Board, consistent with the following requirements: 

  1. A licensee shall obtain at least two credit hours in each biennial licensing period in preneed funeral arrangements. The two credit hours shall require in-person attendance;

  2. A licensee shall obtain at least three credit hours in each biennial licensing period in funeral directing ethics and in New Jersey law and rules relating to the practice of mortuary science. The three credit hours shall require in-person attendance;

  3. A licensee may obtain no more than three credit hours in each biennial licensing period in courses or programs dealing with funeral merchandizing, such as caskets, outer burial containers and clothing. A licensee shall not receive any continuing education credit for viewing exhibits at professional and/or technical meetings and conferences;

  4. A licensee shall receive training in applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws and regulations as required by OSHA. Licensees who seek continuing education credit for such training must attend a course or program approved by the Board and may not count toward the biennial continuing education requirement more than three credit hours in such courses or programs in each biennial licensing period; and

  5. A licensee may receive continuing education credit for a course or program one time only per biennial licensing period.

(c) Licensees shall not be permitted to carry over continuing education credit hours into a succeeding biennial licensure period.

For more information on continuing education courses currently offered by the New Jersey Funeral Service Education Corporation, see the Events section of our Website.