Apprentice Qualifications

An apprentice is someone who is learning the profession of funeral service under the direct supervision of a trained licensed funeral director and embalmer. An apprentice gains hands-on experience by participating in funeral arrangements, funeral services, and embalming. An apprentice must register with the Board of Funeral Services Examiners and must meet the following qualifications:

  • The apprentice candidate must possess a high school diploma or GED.
  • The apprentice candidate must have completed ONE of the following academic studies at an ACCREDITED college or university.*
  • 60 semester hours of college credit
  • 90 quarter hours of college credit
  • Associate Degree
  • The apprentice candidate must have been accepted for employment as an apprentice in a licensed West Virginia funeral establishment.
  • The apprentice candidate must have made arrangements with a licensed funeral director/embalmer to act as supervisor.

*An accredited college or university may include state colleges, state universities, and community colleges. Vocational schools or business schools DO NOT qualify.

To obtain applications and forms, click the pdf icon to the right of the desired documents. To view the Fees Schedule, click the link below.


  1. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent

  2. Have an associate degree from an accredited college or university or have successfully completed not less than sixty semester hours or ninety quarter hours of academic work in an accredited college or university toward a baccalaureate degree with a declared major field as evidenced by a transcript submitted for evaluation. NOTE: This is a separate requirement from degrees obtained at mortuary school.

    Undergraduate work may be completed PRIOR TO, DURING OR AFTER YOUR APPRENTICESHIP.  If the person holds a Bachelor’s in Mortuary Science from an accredited school of mortuary science, the undergraduate work is not required.

  3. Upon satisfactory proof the educational requirements are met, the person may begin the apprentice program which consists of completing a one-year course of apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed embalmer and funeral director actively under which the apprentice shall have taken an active part in the operation of embalming not less than thirty-five dead human bodies and an active part in conducting not less than thirty-five funeral services.

    The applicant has the option of attending mortuary school prior to becoming an apprentice during which time he/she shall have received a diploma of graduation which requires as a prerequisite to graduation the completion of a course of study not less than twelve months'duration, and which said school of mortuary science must be one accredited by the American board of funeral service education, inc., and duly approved by the board. 

Reciprocal licenses may be issued to a person licensed in another state when such license was granted after completion of educational requirements substantially equivalent to those required in this state and which was granted after passing, in that state, an examination that is substantially equivalent to the examination required in this state, which is the national examination administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.  The West Virginia Laws, Rules and Regulations (WV LRR) examination must also be passed with a 75% passing score.

Applications and Forms
Most forms on our site are in pdf format. In order to download these documents you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is free. To download the reader, follow the instructions at the bottom of this page.


    Many of our documents require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print.  Adobe Acrobat Reader is free for download by clicking the icon to the left.  To print any of the Acrobat documents, you need to click the printer icon on the Acrobat tool bar instead of the printer icon on the web browser tool bar.