Embalmer internship

Internship requirements

To become an embalmer, you must complete 2 years of intern training under the supervision of an embalmer licensed in Washington State. The training must:

  • Consist of at least 3,600 hours of employment.
  • Include the embalming of at least 25 human remains.

Out-of-state internships

  • If you served an internship in another state, your internship may be accepted when you apply for an embalmer license if:
    • You were registered with that state’s board.
    • and
    • The training is documented by the supervising licensed funeral director or embalmer.
  • If you have less than 2 years of combined internship and experience as a licensed embalmer in another state, you must serve a period of internship to make up the difference to a total of 2 years before getting a license in Washington.

How to apply

No exam is required to become an embalmer intern. To apply:

  1. Complete a Funeral Director/Embalmer Intern Application.
  2. Mail all of the following to the address on the application form:
    • Your completed, signed application.
    • A check or money order for the $135 application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing).

How to report your internship activities

Every 3 months during your internship, submit an Embalmer Intern Training Report listing the activities you’ve completed toward your internship. Qualifying activities include:

  • Wearing protective clothing/universal precautions.
  • Obtaining identity of decedent.
  • Bathing and disinfecting remains.
  • Obtaining or verifying embalming authorization.
  • Placing and positioning deceased on embalming table.
  • Relieving rigor mortis.
  • Cleaning and inventorying personal effects.
  • Performing pre-embalming case analysis.
  • Selecting and mixing embalming fluids.
  • Shaving the deceased.
  • Setting features.
  • Making incision.
  • Locating and raising vessels for injection/drainage.
  • Injecting vessels.
  • Establishing fluid distribution.
  • Establishing drainage.
  • Treating discolorations, bruises, lacerations.
  • Suturing incisions.
  • Performing autopsy repair (thoracic/abdominal).
  • Cranial autopsy repair.
  • Aspirating and injecting/treating cavities.
  • Trocar button/suture.
  • Suturing autopsy incision.
  • Cosmetizing remains.
  • Dressing remains.
  • Restorative art.
  • Injecting tissue filler.
  • Disposing of bio-hazardous waste.
  • Hypodermic treatment.
  • Placing remains in casket/container.
  • Treating orifices.
  • Grooming hands and nails.
  • Removing medical devises/implants.
  • Posting embalming clean-up.
  • Wrapping and/or pouching remains.

Note: It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your training activity reports for your records.

How to change your sponsor

If you change sponsors:

  1. Submit a completed Embalmer Intern Training Report to us before you change sponsors to avoid losing training credit.
  2. Notify us about the change by:
    • Email: funerals@dol.wa.gov
    • Phone: 360.664.1555 or 360.664.6597
    • Fax: 360.570.7098
    • or
    • Mail:
      Funeral and Cemetery Licensing
      Department of Licensing
      PO Box 9012
      Olympia, WA 98507-9012

Taking the licensing exam

You may take the embalmer licensing exams before finishing your intern training. However, we won’t issue your license until after we receive certification that you have completed your intern training. To learn more about the licensing exam, see Exam.

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