Internship: Embalmers

Learn who needs to complete an embalmer internship, and how to apply for and document your internship so you can get your embalmer license.

Who needs to complete an internship?

Anyone who wants to embalm human remains must complete an embalmer internship.

Internship requirements

You must complete 2 years of intern training under the supervision of an embalmer with an active Washington embalmer license. Internships must not be longer than 5 years. Your training must:

  • Consist of at least 3,600 hours of employment
  • Include the embalming of at least 25 human remains

Out-of-state internships

If you served an internship in another state, we may accept your internship when you apply for an embalmer license if:

  • You were registered with that state's board
  • The supervising licensed funeral director or embalmer documented your training

If you have less than 2 years of combined internship and experience as a licensed embalmer in another state, you must serve a period of internship to make up the difference to a total of 2 years before we will grant your embalmer license in Washington.

How to apply for and document your internship

There are no required exams to become an embalmer intern, but you must pass the required embalmer exams before we will grant your embalmer license.

1. Submit your application

Choose the method that works best for you.

Apply for your internship online

Complete your application faster by applying online. You'll upload your paperwork and pay the licensing fee when you apply.

Log into SecureAccess Washington (SAW)

Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account.

Apply for your internship by mail

Mail a completed Funeral Director/Embalmer Intern Application (only available in English) with a check or money order for the application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing) to:

Funeral and Cemetery Licensing
Department of Licensing
PO Box 3777
Seattle, WA 98124-3777

2. Report your internship activities

Every 3 months during your internship, you must submit an Embalmer Intern Training Report form (only available in English) listing the activities you've completed toward your internship. We recommend you keep a copy of your training reports for your records.

Qualifying internship activities

  • Wearing protective clothing/universal precautions
  • Obtaining the identity of the decedent
  • Bathing and disinfecting remains
  • Obtaining or verifying embalming authorization
  • Placing and positioning the deceased on an embalming table
  • Relieving rigor mortis
  • Cleaning and inventorying personal effects
  • Performing pre-embalming case analysis
  • Selecting and mixing embalming fluids
  • Shaving the deceased
  • Setting features
  • Making incisions
  • Locating and raising vessels for injection/drainage
  • Injecting vessels
  • Establishing fluid distribution
  • Establishing drainage
  • Treating discolorations, bruises, lacerations
  • Suturing incisions
  • Performing autopsy repair (thoracic/abdominal)
  • Cranial autopsy repair
  • Aspirating and injecting/treating cavities
  • Trocar button/suture
  • Suturing autopsy incision
  • Cosmetizing remains
  • Dressing remains
  • Restorative art
  • Injecting tissue filler
  • Disposing of bio-hazardous waste
  • Hypodermic treatment
  • Placing remains in casket/container
  • Treating orifices
  • Grooming hands and nails
  • Removing medical devices or implants
  • Posting embalming clean-up
  • Wrapping and/or pouching remains

3. Keep your sponsor up to date

It's important to make sure your internship sponsor is up to date in our records. Choose the method that works best for you.

Update your sponsor online

Log into SecureAccess Washington (SAW) or create an account to complete the necessary paperwork to update your internship sponsor.

Update your sponsor by email

Email us the necessary updates at

Update your sponsor by mail

Complete an Embalmer Intern Training Report form and submit it to us before you change sponsors to avoid losing training credit.

Funeral and Cemetery Licensing
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9012
Olympia, WA 98507-9012

Taking the licensing exam

You may take the embalmer licensing exams before finishing your intern training. However, we won't issue your license until after we receive certification that you have completed your intern training. Learn more about the embalmer licensing exam.

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-664-1555
(TTY: Call 711)
mail Email:
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