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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

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 Government and Public Administration cluster Governance pathway.

A person in this career:

  • 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.
  • Completes death certificates, including the assignment of cause and manner of death.
  • Inquires into the cause, manner, and circumstances of human deaths and establishes the identities of deceased persons.
  • Observes and records the positions and conditions of bodies and related evidence.
  • Observes, records, and preserves any objects or personal property related to deaths, including objects such as medication containers and suicide notes.
  • Interviews persons present at death scenes to obtain information useful in determining the manner of death.
  • Arranges for the next of kin to be notified of deaths.
  • Collects and documents any pertinent medical history information.
  • Completes reports and forms required to finalize cases.
  • Directs activities of workers conducting autopsies, performing pathological and toxicological analyses, and preparing documents for permanent records.

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
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most 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:

  • County Coroner
  • Deputy Coroner
  • District Medical Examiner
  • Medical Examiner
  • Medical Legal Investigator (MLI)
  • Coroner Investigator
  • County Medical Examiner
  • Medicolegal Death Investigator


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733