SB 1136 – Relating to Funeral Director Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships; funeral directors; embalmers; cremationists- Introduced by Senator Pace

Read introduced version here:

This bill will allow a funeral home to start an Apprenticeship program through the US Department of Labor to forgo attending an accredited college to receive their degree in Mortuary Science. It does not affect obtaining a license, but it does eliminate the need for education.

Please view the US Dept of Labor Apprenticeship Program at this website (search for Funeral Director):

AFCCA Position: We are remaining neutral until our meeting with the stakeholders and Senator Pace happens. Please email with any concerns or comments.


May 26, 2020

Bill ended up stalling in this legislative season and will not be moving forward.

March 4, 2020

Amended bill passed through the senate 29-0.

Read adopted amendment

March 2, 2020

Members of the AFCCA Board, John Mangum and Trish Hart (our lobbyist) met with Senator Pace, Lara Benitez (senate research), Kathy Ber (Legislative Director AZDES), Bryce Barraza (DES Administrator) and Willie Higgins (DES Coordinator – Apprenticeship Program) to discuss the Apprenticeship Bill.
It was explained to our group that SB1136 is not meant to deter anyone from attending the Mortuary Science program, just provided as an alternative route for those who cannot work schooling into their schedule, who live in rural areas, and for those who just would prefer the apprenticeship route. It was stated that the program is not going to be a short cut, and it would take as many years as the mortuary science program, if not more, to complete, and they must meet certain requirements to receive the certificate to take the national boards.
The program will be written to incorporate educational components that must be met during the apprenticeship in order to help the employee pass the board exams needed to become licensed in Arizona. The mentors who participate in the program can work with the Mortuary Science College, the association and the funeral board to create the curriculum. Sample Curriculum and Mentor Requirements are attached.
Mentoring Funeral Homes/Directors must submit their curriculum to DES to be approved before hiring apprentices.
We did emphasize how important it is for high education requirements in order to pass the board exams. We expressed our concerns about setting up apprentices for failure, and that if they don’t pass the $800 board exams, they would have to pay again to retake and they may come back and blame the Funeral Home/Director Mentor for not teaching them appropriately.
We asked that they maybe consider working the AZ State Board for Funeral Directors and Embalmers in order to approve Funeral Homes and Directors in good standing to be able to be mentors in the apprenticeship. Senator Pace agreed and amendment to the bill will be submitted.

February 20, 2020

Bill passed through committee. The association has asked Senator Pace to meet with Stake Holders before moving this bill forward. Senator Pace has committed to hearing us and we will meet on Monday, March 2.

January 21, 2020

Senate second read

January 16, 2020

Senate first read of bill

Request to Speak

Please follow directions below if you would like to sign in for or against this bill. This will only work if there is an active agenda. You can also view status at this link.

Click “sign on” at the top of the page
Sign into your account
Click “Request to Speak”
Click “New Request” on left side of page
Type in “sb1136” in Search Phrase
Fill in information and submit

For further help, review the RTS Manual. Your account must be made at the state capitol kiosk in order register an opinion or create a request to speak. AFCCA highly recommends at one point, you visit the state capitol to create an account so that you can assist with our advocacy in the future.