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Coroner  What They Do

Just the Facts


Coroners Career Video



Directs 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.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Arranges for the next of kin to be notified of deaths.
  • Provides information concerning the circumstances of death to relatives of the deceased.
  • Directs activities of workers conducting autopsies, performing pathological and toxicological analyses, and preparing documents for permanent records.
  • Locates and documents information regarding the next of kin, including their relationship to the deceased and the status of notification attempts.
  • Performs 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.
  • Removes or supervises removal of bodies from death scenes, using the proper equipment and supplies, and arranges for transportation to morgues.
  • Collects and documents any pertinent medical history information.
  • Observes, records, and preserves any objects or personal property related to deaths, including objects such as medication containers and suicide notes.
  • Observes and records the positions and conditions of bodies and related evidence.
  • Completes reports and forms required to finalize cases.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Medical Examiner --
  • Medical Legal Investigator (MLI) --
  • Deputy Coroner --
  • Forensic Pathologist --