Mortuary science hosts cremation certification seminar

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Cremation rates are expected to rise to 53.5 percent.

By Alberto Ramirez

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

The mortuary science program had a cremation certification seminar Feb. 16 in Room 120 of the visual arts center hosted by mortuary science Professor Mary Allen-Martin.

The cremation certification seminar was taught by Mike Nicodemus, vice president of cremation services.

Students who attended could earn a Certified Crematory Operator license offered by the National Funeral Directors Association. Forty-five students had signed up at $160 each.

The certification is intended for crematory owners or operators and licensed funeral home directors, but the certification does not require it.

The license is a professional license that is attractive to owners and operators of crematories, Allen-Martin said Feb. 7.

According to a 2018 report from the Cremation Association of North America, Texas went from a 30 to 40 percent cremation rate in 2013 to a 41 to 50 percent rate in 2017.

And according to a 2018 report from the funeral directors association, the cremation rate will continue to climb to 53.5 percent, while the burial rate is projected to be only 40.5 percent.

“Since cremation is more and more popular, more funeral homes have built crematories,” Allen-Martin said.

Allen-Martin thinks the certification allows mortuary science students to explain the cremation process more accurately, improving the funeral service they can offer clients.

Crematories at one time were only operated on cemetery grounds, Allen-Martin said.

But as of Sept. 1, 2003, according to the Texas Health and Safety Code, crematories may be constructed “adjacent to funeral establishments.”

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