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To become an embalmer, you must complete 2 years of intern training under the supervision of an embalmer licensed in Washington State. Your internship is limited to no more than 5 years. The training must:
- Consist of at least 3,600 hours of employment.
- Include the embalming of at least 25 human remains.
- 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.
- 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 submit your application:
to apply and pay your application fee.
Mail a completed Funeral Director/Embalmer Intern Application with a check or money order for the $135 application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing) to:
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3777
Olympia, WA 98507‑3777
Report your internship activities
Every 3 months during your internship, submit an Embalmer Intern Training Report.
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.
We recommend you keep a copy of your training activity reports for your records.
Change your sponsor
to renew online.
Complete an Embalmer Intern Training Report and send it to us before you change sponsors to avoid losing training credit.
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.