What Draws Young Koreans to Jobs in the Morgue?

      April 21, 2023 08:36

      A growing number of Koreans in their 20s and 30s sign up for vocational classes to train as morticians.
      According to the Ministry of Interior and Safety, 711 people obtained mortician's licenses in Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province last year, and 42.3 percent of them were in their 20s and 30s.
      But why? One explanation could be that there is simply a gap in a tough job market, but a fascination with death also seems to play a part.
      Han Soo-kyung, a 22-year-old from Bucheon west of Seoul, has had a genuine interest in the subject of dignified death and began studying the funeral business in Japan. She got her license last month. "I plan to work for a year at a start-up that helps people plan their own funerals, and after that I want to work seriously as a mortician," she said. 
      The funeral industry is a burgeoning market in Korea, which is aging rapidly, so available jobs are expected to increase further.
      According to the Fair Trade Commission, the number of people who signed up for funeral insurance stood at 757,000 as of last September, up 1.7 times compared to 2016.
      The government also plans to make it more difficult to obtain mortician's licenses from 2025, so perhaps some young people are rushing to get their license while it is still relatively easy.  
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