SOC: 13-1041.06


Direct activities such as autopsies, pathological and toxicological analyses, and inquests relating to the investigation of deaths occurring within a legal jurisdiction to determine cause of death or to fix responsibility for accidental, violent, or unexplained deaths.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
260,300 employed

Projected (2024):
269,000 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Chief Deputy Coroner
  • Coroner
  • Coroner Forensic Technician
  • Coroner Technician
  • Coroner Transport Technician
  • Coroner's Juror
  • Coroner/Medical Examiner
  • County Coroner
  • Deputy Coroner
  • Deputy Coroner Investigator
  • District Medical Examiner
  • Elected County Coroner/Chief Medical Examiner
  • Forensic Medical Examiner
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Medical Examiner
  • Medical Investigator
  • Medical Legal Investigator (MLI)

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Perform medicolegal examinations and autopsies, conducting preliminary examinations of the body to identify victims, locate signs of trauma, and identify factors that would indicate time of death.
  • Inquire into the cause, manner, and circumstances of human deaths and establish the identities of deceased persons.
  • Complete death certificates, including the assignment of cause and manner of death.
  • Observe and record the positions and conditions of bodies and related evidence.
  • Collect and document any pertinent medical history information.
  • Observe, record, and preserve any objects or personal property related to deaths, including objects such as medication containers and suicide notes.
  • Complete reports and forms required to finalize cases.
  • Remove or supervise removal of bodies from death scenes, using the proper equipment and supplies, and arrange for transportation to morgues.
  • Interview persons present at death scenes to obtain information useful in determining the manner of death.
  • Testify at inquests, hearings, and court trials.
  • Provide information concerning the circumstances of death to relatives of the deceased.
  • Locate and document information regarding the next of kin, including their relationship to the deceased and the status of notification attempts.
  • Confer with officials of public health and law enforcement agencies to coordinate interdepartmental activities.
  • Inventory personal effects recovered from bodies, such as jewelry or wallets.
  • Coordinate the release of personal effects to authorized persons and facilitate the disposition of unclaimed corpses and personal effects.
  • Arrange for the next of kin to be notified of deaths.
  • Record the disposition of minor children, as well as details of arrangements made for their care.
  • Collect wills, burial instructions, and other documentation needed for investigations and for handling of the remains.
  • Witness and certify deaths that are the result of a judicial order.
  • Direct activities of workers conducting autopsies, performing pathological and toxicological analyses, and preparing documents for permanent records.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 35 millimeter cameras
  • Autopsy bone saws
  • Autopsy evidence collection kits
  • Autopsy fluid collection vacuum aspirators
  • Autopsy knives
  • Autopsy saws
  • Autopsy scissors
  • Binocular light compound microscopes
  • Bone cutters
  • Bone dust collectors
  • Cadaver lifts
  • Desktop computers
  • Dictation equipment
  • Digital autopsy scales
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital video cameras
  • Dissecting knives
  • Dissection forceps
  • Dissection scissors
  • Enterotomes
  • Floor scales
  • Laptop computers
  • Microscope slides
  • Personal computers
  • Portable x ray machines
  • Postmortem blood drawing syringes
  • Postmortem fingerprint equipment
  • Postmortem suturing needles
  • Protective coveralls
  • Protective eye shields
  • Rib cutters
  • Skull chisels
  • Specimen collection containers
  • Specimen scales
  • Staining dishes
  • Stryker saws
  • Surgical gloves
  • Surgical masks
  • Surgical scalpels
  • Tabletop centrifuges
  • Toothed forceps
  • Triple beam balances
  • 3D graphics software
  • Alcestis
  • Autopsy information databases
  • Bite analysis software
  • Corel WordPerfect software
  • Data entry software
  • Douglas Associates Forensic Filer
  • Email software
  • Fingerprint databases
  • Genetic database software
  • Graphics software
  • Ingenuware CoronerBase
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Mideo Systems EZDoc Plus
  • Rapid Medical Examiners System
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Toxicology databases
  • Web browser software

  • business and financial operations

    industry stats

    SOC: 13-0000

    Total Employed: 7,032,560

    Average Annual Salary: $73,800