How to become

How to Become a Death Doula

How to Become a Death Doula


A death doula’s role will be more crucial than ever as many wealthy countries deal with an aging population. Your role as a doula will be to assist the dying and their loved ones in navigating this transition because death is a very personal and sacred experience for everyone concerned. We can assist you if you’re thinking about becoming a death doula, sometimes referred to as an end-of-life doula. This detailed manual has all the information you require on how to become a death doula.

Who is death doula?

Doulas provide assistance to those who are dying as well as their loved ones.

The Greek word for doula, which means “a lady of assistance,” can refer to a person of any gender. Doulas are specialists educated to have sincere and meaningful dialogues with dying people and their families, and they assist people in finding meaning in the dying experience.

A death doula spends a lot of time actively looking for methods to make things easier for the dying person and their loved ones as well as having uncomfortable conversations about mortality. A career as a death-doula is a calling; even if the work is extremely taxing, if you are inspired by the thought of assisting individuals as they approach death, this may be the path for you.

What services are offered by death doulas?

Doulas offer knowledge and experience to those who are dying and their loved ones.

Even while each doula may have a particular area of expertise in the dying process, they all generally have several key responsibilities in common. Some of the services that death doulas frequently offer are:

  • Make a place where people can talk about dying openly and honestly.
  • Discuss the legacy of the deceased person.
  • Create customs and rituals to commemorate noteworthy occasions.
  • Supporting and replacing worn-out caretakers.
  • Helping people navigate the grief process.
  • Describe the signs and symptoms of dying.

Training and Education for Death Doulas

Anyone who wants to help those who are dying is eligible to become a death doula. This could apply to a caretaker, a holistic practitioner, nurses, or another medical expert.

Across the nation, there are numerous educational training programmes for certificates and licenses. Every programme is chosen based on the norms and values of the training facility.

Each training programme may have a different set of rules, even though death doulas all work near the end of life. Training is not required to work as a death doula, but it can give you the skills you need.

Many organizations offer certifications (even through online education) and training for death doulas so that you can show off your credentials. The courses span a few months, and you can expect to learn about your duties as a doula, the ethics and morality of death in many cultures, as well as how to communicate with the terminally ill and their loved ones.

Consider enrolling in a programme that complies with the standards established by the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance. You will receive official recognition as a NEDA-capable doula after completing a course like this.

Costs for the training course

For a training course, the budget is about $600 USD. To find the greatest fit, examine programmes’ teaching methods, costs, financial aid options, and programme requirements before choosing one. Some trustworthy programmes to take into account are:

  • The World End of Life Doula Association
  • The Doula Life International Movement
  • The Vermont University
  • Douglas University
  • The Institute for Conscious Dying

What to Think About Prior to Death Doula

If you want to work as a death doula, you will become intimately familiar with the ups and downs of the dying process. These experiences might range from stunning beauty to excruciating anguish. Some people may not find death to be a good experience. Although death doulas make every effort to help a person have a “happy death,” no two people’s experiences will be the same.

Here are some things to be aware of if you are interested in working as a death doula:

Demands on both the body and the mind

Being by someone’s side during their final moments may be both fulfilling and draining. You could spend a lot of time on guard when someone is in danger of passing away. People can pass away at any time, as we are all aware, and it can occasionally be a short or a protracted process.

Doulas may work for longer than 12 hours straight, concentrating on emotionally taxing responsibilities for their clients. Maintaining a regular self-care routine might save you from burning out and enable you to meet professional obligations.

A sense of emotional stability and the capacity to know when to set limits are further requirements for being a death doula. Setting limits can be challenging, especially when your responsibility is to support someone during one of their most stressful periods. It can be upsetting to see someone’s transition from life to death, therefore it is beneficial if you can continue to practice mindfulness and tranquility for both yourself and your client.

Awareness of death

It’s not necessary, but it might be useful, to have prior experience dealing with the death of a loved one or friend. If you haven’t personally encountered death, it’s advisable to learn more about it. No matter how many death-related stories you read, being in the presence of a dying person can change everything. It is crucial that you understand death to some extent because of this.

You will also be more effective in this capacity if you can accept your own mortality. If you’re not used to seeing someone die, it can be disturbing. If you’re not ready to deal with death, you might decide not to continue working as a death doula.

Sympathetic nature

To lead someone to their death requires great bravery and compassion in the heart. A person who is dying may talk about their emotional suffering and despair. They could share their regrets, wrongdoings, or things they will miss the most.

It’s essential to be able to listen without passing judgment and with an open heart. The dying person will feel safer if the doula is more compassionate and caring.

Average pay

The compensation for a death doula will depend on the sum that you and your client have agreed upon. Usually, a daily or hourly cost is given for this. Some doulas may opt to charge a set rate in order to support the patient during their terminal illness.

The hourly pricing can vary depending on the client’s needs from $25 to over $100 an hour.

Advantages of working as a death doula

Being a death doula is fulfilling employment. You will have the privilege of being around people while they are at their most undeveloped and defenseless in this position. Death is real and lovely even though it isn’t always pretty. It is an honor to “walk someone home,” as some might put it.

People shouldn’t have to go through the process of dying alone because it is a holy transition. Birthing doulas and death doulas both deserve to be in the public eye. A death doula completes the cycle by welcoming a person into the world through childbirth.

There might be a movement to approach death differently as more generations get older, which would necessitate more death doulas.

The time is now if you are feeling called to work as a death doula. You can participate in the global movement to raise knowledge and awareness of death doulas.

Making a Living as a Death Doula

To go deeper into your hobbies, volunteer at nearby hospices.

It’s a good idea to determine whether working in the end-of-life care business is something that’s right for you before enrolling in a death doula training programme. Many hospices provide volunteer programmes that will allow you to gain experience working with terminally ill people and comprehending their requirements. Some hospices even have programmes just for aspiring doulas.

Go through a certification or training programme.

It is strongly advised that you enroll in a training course before becoming a doula. Since many programmes are entirely online, access to them is greatly increased. You will gain a solid foundation of skills from these programmes that you may use in the workplace.

Look for employment options nearby.

Hospices, hospitals, retirement and nursing homes are frequently the clients of death doulas. Some doulas choose to open their own businesses and accept referrals from medical professionals, cemeteries, grief counselors, and even lawyers. Call nearby groups that provide end-of-life care to ask if there are any openings for a doula on staff, or introduce yourself and let them know you are willing to work with anyone who is interested.

  • You might also be able to work with clients remotely, depending on your interests. Doulas with expertise in legacy work, vigil services, and end-of-life documentation may be able to carry out their duties via video conversations.
Inform them about your offerings

Since many individuals are ignorant of what an end-of-life doula does, explaining how you can support them or their loved ones when dealing with death will be a crucial part of your job. Public awareness-raising about the function of doulas not only helps others realize they have this resource at their disposal, but it’s also a good way to promote your own profession.

  • To find new clients and describe their services, many doulas use the internet. Build your own website to try and increase your online presence.
Create a network by getting in touch with other doulas.

It’s tremendously beneficial to have access to the knowledge and company of other doulas when navigating the very specific emotional obstacles of this line of work. Consider becoming a member of your nation’s national doula association, which can introduce you to other doulas and resources for your line of work.

  • As you gain expertise, it’s a terrific idea to mentor others who might be considering taking the same route. The lives and deaths of countless people can be greatly affected by developing the next generation of doulas.


Who qualifies to work as a death doula?

Anyone who wants to help those who are dying can become a death doula. Caretakers, holistic healers, nurses, and other medical experts may fall under this category.

Some programmes offer CEUs and may make the programme available to other professionals.

Do we need to take the test?

There isn’t currently a national organization accredited to manage death doula education. To obtain a certificate, training centers typically require both a written and practical exam.

Death doulas are not needed to pass any state boards or license exams in order to begin working.

What conditions must be met?

While having medical training is advantageous, it is not necessary to become a death doula. No prior education in the medical, mental health, or spiritual disciplines is required.

The only requirement is to have an open heart and mind. The training course will provide you the skills and information needed to work as a death doula.

What is the cost of the training?

Depending on the length of the programme, training for death doulas can cost anywhere from $750 to $3000 or more.

While some training plans include multiple phases, others can be finished in two to three days. The fees of the curriculum are occasionally offset through opportunities for scholarships.

What services will the training course offer?

Despite the differences between each training programme, they all share the same techniques and ideas. You’ll discover how to provide someone who is dying bodily, emotional, and spiritual consolation.

You will learn how to present with death and how to listen compassionately during the course. Additionally, you will discover how to guide someone through the logistics of end-of-life planning. Some training programmes teach you how to help grieving families both before and after a death.

Are there any scholarships or free training programmes available to those who desire to work as death doulas?

Yes, certain training facilities offer scholarships. There are also payment plans available to spread out the price. According to each training programme, this may change.