In light of the 2017 Funeral Service Provider Workforce Study, funeral service licensees are retiring or leaving the profession at a higher rate than licensees coming into the profession. By the year 2042, half of the current licensees will be at retirement age. If we want to continue to have a pool of qualified candidates entering our profession we must make provisions to attract and attain licensees for the future.
The current 3,000 hour internship requirement is a factor in being able to continually have a pool of qualified funeral service licensees. Funeral services students are opting to go to neighboring states where the internship hours and/or time requirement is less. For example, North Carolina and West Virginia only require a year internship and Maryland only requires 1,000 hours. If we expect to meet the funeral industry future needs, we must look at reducing the internship hours or changing it to a year requirement. This would not have an adverse effect on public health and developing compentent and qualified licensees. Interns can still be required to complete the 25 embalmings and 25 funerals within a year or over a period of 1,000 hours but not less than a period of a year.