How to get your license: Funeral directors

Requirements

To get a license as a funeral director, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Meet at least one of the following education requirements:
    • Have an Associate of Arts degree in Mortuary Science.
    • Meet the alternative education requirements below.
    • Have at least 5 years of active licensed experience in another state.
  • Complete a funeral director internship.
  • Take and pass the licensing exam.

Alternative education requirements

If you don’t have an Associate of Arts degree in Mortuary Science, you must complete a course of instruction at a regionally-accredited school, college, or university or other accredited association approved by the board. This instruction must meet all of the following requirements:

  • The course must consist of at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours.
  • The required courses must include the following subjects:
    • 1 course in psychology
    • 1 course in mathematics
    • 2 courses in English composition
    • 2 courses in social science (subjects with an * can apply as both a social science and a behavioral science course):
      • American Cultural Studies
      • American Indian Studies
      • Anthropology*
      • Asian American Studies
      • Communications
      • Economics
      • Environmental Studies
      • Forest Resources
      • Geography
      • Government
      • History*
      • Human Services
      • International Studies
      • Linguistics
      • Music
      • Political Science
      • Psychology*
      • Religion
      • Social Studies
      • Social Work
      • Sociology*
      • Speech Communications
      • Urban Design and Planning
      • Women Studies
    • 3 courses selected from any of the following subjects:
      • Public speaking
      • Counseling
      • Business administration and management
      • Computer science
      • First aid
      • Behavioral sciences:
        • Anthropology
        • History
        • Liberal Studies
        • Psychology
        • Sociology
        • Women Studies
  • You must finish the instruction with a 2.0 grade point average or grade of C or better.
  • Credits may be earned at more than 1 college to satisfy the total number required.

Note: A diploma or certificate from a mortuary school whose curriculum doesn’t equal at least 60 semester or 90 quarter hours doesn’t meet Washington’s education requirements.

Out-of-state applicants

  • If you have at least 5 years of active licensed experience in another state, you don’t need to meet the education requirements.
  • If you have less than 5 years of active licensed experience in another state, you must meet the education requirements.

How to apply for a license

  1. Complete a Funeral Director/Embalmer License Application.
  2. Have your college or university send us your official transcripts. Only sealed transcripts sent directly from the issuing college or university are accepted.
  3. Have an official copy of your National Board scores sent directly to us.
  4. Mail all of the following to the address on the application form:
    • Your completed, signed application.
    • A check or money order for the application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing).

If you’ve been licensed in another state for at least 5 years

  1. Complete a Funeral Director/Embalmer License Application.
  2. Have your license history and exam verifications sent directly to us from any states you’ve been licensed in.
  3. Mail all of the following to the address on the application form:
    • Your completed, signed application.
    • A check or money order for the application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing).

If you’ve been licensed in another state for less than 5 years

  1. Complete a Funeral Director/Embalmer License Application.
  2. Have your college or university send us your official transcripts. Only sealed transcripts send directly from the issuing college or university are accepted.
  3. Have your license history and exam verifications sent directly to us from any states you’ve been licensed in.
  4. Have an official copy of your National Board scores sent directly to us from the National Board.
  5. Mail all of the following to the address on the application form:
    • Your completed, signed application.
    • A check or money order for the application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing).
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