A BRIEF EXPLANATION ON THE EMBALMING APPRENTICESHIP PROCESS
K.S.A. 65-1701a(c) states that in order to be eligible for licensure as an embalmer, applicants shall serve an apprenticeship of one year under the supervision of a licensed embalmer.
All apprentice embalmers serving apprenticeships in the State of Kansas will be registered as Student Embalmers and pay the appropriate fees.
K.A.R. 63-1-3 requires the filing of quarterly progress reports with the board. Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, a license shall be issued by the board upon payment of the prorated initial licensure fee.
Some other legal requirements include that the embalming apprenticeship be completed within two (2) years following the successful completion of the national examination or equivalent (approved by the board) – otherwise the apprenticeship shall be canceled. The apprenticeship must be served working on a full-time basis! Any quarterly progress report not submitted within ten (10) days of the quarter - by either the apprentice or supervising licensee - will result in denial of that quarter and an extension of apprenticeship.
The one year embalming apprenticeship does not officially begin until after passing the written national examination and filing the appropriate registration papers with the board. There is a $100 fee for a student embalmer registration which is good for two (2) years. Note that the apprenticeship does not officially begin until the day the application is filed with the board. In other words, your apprenticeship does not automatically begin just because you have passed the written national examination.
Finding the proper employment: It's much easier to secure employment PRIOR to graduating from mortuary college and taking the national examination. Funeral homes looking for help will often notify our office, the school and/or the association's office. Otherwise, it's up to you to contact funeral homes when seeking employment. Students planning on serving both embalmer and funeral director apprenticeships at the same time should visit with employers to see if there will be any opportunities to work with families. By asking up front–prior to accepting a position–you will have a better understanding of what to expect. Some individuals are more interested in money, benefits, time-off...and forget to inquire about the job itself.
Once you have registered as an apprentice embalmer, the apprentice and supervising licensed embalmer will each receive separate packets containing four (4) quarterly progress reports. Any quarterly progress report not submitted within ten(10) days of the quarter – by either the apprentice or supervising licensee – will result in denial of that quarter and an extension of apprenticeship. The board uses these reports to monitor progress of the apprentice, and it is important to take appropriate time when filling them out! Changing jobs during the apprenticeship is perfectly normal. The apprenticeship is a job--and like any job, situations can occur (better opportunities, personality conflicts...) that require the apprentice to seek/obtain employment at other funeral homes. When terminating from a supervising licensee--for any reason--the Mortuary Arts Board office MUST be notified immediately. There are papers that must be signed by the apprentice and supervising licensee that verify employment. Once the apprentice has found new employment, it will be necessary to re-register with the board. The apprenticeship period is for a minimum of one (1) full year, so the longer time taken off between jobs--the longer it is going to take to complete the apprenticeship. A list of job openings is posted on the board’s website and is updated regularly.
Approximately two (2) weeks prior to the due date of the last quarterly progress report, the board will mail the apprentice a "Practical Registration" application. The top half will already be completed. All the apprentice must do is complete the bottom portion in order to verify the apprenticeship. The application must be signed by the apprentice and the supervising licensee, and it should be returned to the board along with the last quarter progress report and any other required paperwork.
Once the board has received all of the quarterly progress reports from the apprentice and supervising licensee as well as the "Practical Registration" application, the apprentice will be scheduled an appointment time to meet with the board. The board reviews all quarterly progress reports and will ask questions relating to the apprenticeship and application for licensure.
Completion of the full one (1) year apprenticeship, a successful interview with the board and payment of the a prorated initial licensure fee will result in the issuance of what you've been working so hard for: KANSAS LICENSURE! The board wishes you the best of luck during the apprenticeship process. Please feel free to contact our Topeka office if we can be of any assistance. There is no such thing as a “bad” question. Our web site contains quite a bit of information, so please take some time to look it over.
Mack Smith, Executive Secretary
Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts
700 SW Jackson St., Suite #904
Topeka, Kansas 66603-3733
Telephone: (785) 296-3980
Fax: (785) 296-0891
Web site: http://www.kansas.gov/ksbma/
Amended February 22, 2010