Deputy Coroner: Job Description and Education Requirements
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a deputy coroner. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and credentials to find out if this is the career for you.
Deputy coroners work to determine the manner and cause of death in accordance with state guidelines. Coroners' responsibilities include both investigative duties and mortuary duties. Education requirements vary by state, ranging from a GED or high school diploma to a master's degree. Many coroners are also required to receive certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).
|Required Education||Minimum of high school diploma, though some states require a bachelor's or master's degree in anthropology, criminal justice or forensic anthropology|
|Other Requirements||Many states require certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||6% for forensic science technicians, including individuals working in morgues and coroner offices|
|Median Salary (2013)*||$54,360 annually for forensic science technicians, including individuals working in morgues and coroner offices|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Deputy Coroner Job Description
Deputy coroners serve as a liaison between law enforcement and the morgue, focusing on examining the remains of a body in order to determine both how and why a death occurred. Typical duties associated with deputy coroner positions may change from state to state, but usually they include identification of the body, photographing the crime scene, notification of the next of kin and transportation of the body to the morgue.
Deputy Coroner Responsibilities
The main duties of the deputy coroner are to determine the manner and cause of death, whether natural or violent, as well as to identify the remains. This may includes investigative work at the death scene, and it may include interpretation of autopsy results. Deputy coroners are not necessarily required to perform autopsies, but may if they are also board certified pathologists. Once the case has been solved, it is the deputy coroner's duty to prepare forms such as the deceased's death certificate, plus any additional state or local forms required.
Deputy Coroner Education Requirements
Depending on the state where the deputy coroner is based, there may be no specific degree requirements for the position except a high school diploma or GED. However, same states require deputy coroners to have a bachelor's or master's degree in anthropology, criminal justice or forensic anthropology.
Many states require deputy coroners to obtain certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). The ABMDI offers entry-level coroners who have a high school diploma or a GED and at least 640 hours of death scene experience the opportunity to sit for the Registry Certification examination. More experienced coroners may earn the Board Certification credential. To sit for the Board exam, applicants must be Registry credentialed, have an associate's degree from an accredited institution, and have 4,000 hours of experience.
Salary and Job Outlook
The field of forensic science technicians, which includes those working in morgues and coroner offices, is projected to grow by 6% during the 2012-2022 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reported that the median salary of all forensic science technicians in May 2013 was $54,360 a year.