Coroners fall into the Investigative Theme Code Category of The Strong Interest Inventory® Assessment. Since this Assessment was first released in 1927, it has been used to help individuals find careers that align with their personal and vocational preferences and interests. First, individuals take an assessment that evaluates their preferences in a variety of areas. Then, the assessment rubric uses that information to recommend a set of careers that would best suit them based on the shared answer patterns of those that have reported quite satisfied within the given careers. There are six families of careers types, called Theme Codes. The Investigative Theme Code Category generally interests people with strong math and science skills, and who enjoy solving real-world problems.

Coroners are responsible for directing activities relating to investigating the cause of individuals’ deaths. This process is highly technical and may include performing medical examinations of the body that can identify the individual, as well as shed light on the source of trauma or any other factors that can indicate the time and cause of death.

Coroner Salary

Read about a career as a Coroner including information such as a Coroner Salary, daily tasks and other career information.

They also observe and record the conditions and positions of the bodies when found, and document and preserve any objects or personal property relating to the death, such as medication containers or suicide notes. Coroners may also have to interview any other individuals that were present at the time of death. In some cases, determining a cause of death may also involve analyzing and documenting pertinent medical history, or conferring with public health or law enforcement officials.

Once the cause of death is determined, Coroners prepare and complete death certificates, including the cause and manner of death, and arrange for the deceased’s next of kin to be notified. They also arrange for the release of any personal effects, like wallets or jewelry, collect burial instructions and wills, supervise the removal of bodies from death scenes, and testify at hearings or court trials.

Coroners use a broad range of tools and technologies to determine cause of death, including autopsy equipment (e.g., chisels, forceps, tubing, hanging scales, blades, saws, scissors, specimen bags, centrifuges, and microscopic slides), as well as office equipment (e.g., desktop computers, camcorders, cameras) and laboratory equipment (e.g., facial shields, protective eye shields, goggles, staining dishes, x-ray equipment, blood detection kits, needles, scalpels, etc.). Safety equipment is also of the utmost importance (e.g., surgical equipment, gloves, masks, protective coveralls, etc.). Their software needs include the staples—Microsoft Office Suite and its Google equivalents, as well as web browser software—in addition to analytical or scientific software, graphics software (e.g., Mideo Systems EZDoc Plus) and database user interface and query software (e.g., Douglas Associates Forensic Filler; Rapid Medical Examiners System) etc.

In order to be a successful Coroner, detailed knowledge of the English language, public safety, and law and government are all of the utmost importance. In addition, a foundation in medicine, medical science, and dentistry, as well as the social and biological sciences (e.g., chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology etc.) are great assets, as are a background in administration and customer service. Some 23% of Coroners hold a high school diploma or GED, 19% have earned their two-year associate’s degree, and 16% have completed some college, but without earning a diploma. On the contrary, most Coroners have at least 1-2 years of on the job experience and training, often working under a more experienced Coroner. For these reasons, Coroners also benefit from strong communicative skills, as well as a willingness to work directly with others in the field as well as the public.

The median Coroner Salary in the United States is $68,860 annually. The median is highest in Washington D.C., Alaska, and California, all of which are well over $80,000. In fact, the top 10% of coroners in most states earn over $100,000 per year. On the other extreme, the bottom 10% in most states earn under $40,000. The employment rate of Coroners is also increasing nation-wide. Utah leads with over 30% expected growth, while California’s 9% growth rate is projected to add some 3,200 jobs within the next decade. Overall, Coroners can expect steady job prospects and salaries for the foreseeable future.

Below are some employment trends for Coroners:

  • Median Salary: $33.20 hourly, $69,050 annually
  • Employment: 319,900 employees
  • Projected growth (2018-2028): Average (4% to 6%)
  • Projected job openings (2018-2028): 30,700
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections