Practical training and experience from an internship is required to become a licensed funeral director. Your training must be done with a New Jersey registered mortuary under the supervision of a New Jersey licensed funeral director known as your preceptor. Students will be expected to develop skills in embalming, making arrangements, and conducting funerals. In New Jersey you are not required to have completed your funeral service or mortuary science education before starting an internship. However, you must register as an intern with the State Board of Mortuary Science before beginning an internship.
Applying for an Internship
An application for intern registration can be downloaded from the Mortuary Board’s website. Together with your preceptor, fill out the application, certify that the information is valid, and return the application to the Mortuary Board.
As a student, you have two options for how to register as an intern:
1. Register after successfully completing two or three years of academic instruction at an institution approved by the New Jersey Commission of Higher Education:
- Two years of academic instruction is equivalent to 60-degree credits at a community or county college or one-half of the credits required to complete a degree at a four-year college or university
- Three years* of academic instruction is equivalent to 90-degree credits at a community/county or four-year college (or a combination of the two), or three-quarters of the credits required to complete a degree at a four-year college or university
2. Register while concurrently completing your education. There are specific requirements that must be met in order to utilize this option, such as carrying eight credits per academic term and maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.0.
A completed intern registration application must include the following:
- Educational background of the intern applying
- Name and address of the registered mortuary where they will be working
- Name and license number of the preceptor
- Two passport-sized photos
Upon acceptance, the Mortuary Board will issue an Intern Registration Card. As an intern, you must carry this card with you at all times during the course of your training.
Internships can last from one* to three years and you will be required to:
- Assist in the embalming of at least 75 bodies
- Conduct at least 75 funerals
- Arrange at least 25 funerals (either preneed or at-need arrangements)
An internship may not exceed three years, although on occasion, the Mortuary Board will grant an extension.
A monthly report must be submitted to the Mortuary Board outlining the embalmings, arrangements and funerals conducted for that month. You and your preceptor both must sign the report. Reports must be furnished for each month until you become licensed.
For more information on becoming an intern, contact the State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey.
*A shorter, one-year internship may apply for individuals who have completed three academic years of instruction in a college or university.