What Other Jobs Are There in a Coroner's Office?

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A coroner is a public official responsible for investigating unexplained deaths or deaths involving violence. A coroner and a medical examiner have similar jobs and legal responsibilities, just serving in different jurisdictions. In larger cities, the coroner's office will include dozens of employees in various support roles, but in smaller, rural jurisdictions some coroners work by themselves or have just one employee.

Assistant Coroners

A coroner in a major is likely to have at least a couple of assistant coroners, perhaps even serving as department heads. Assistant coroners are usually management-level jobs, and, like coroners, often have a background as medical professionals or attorneys.

Pathologists

Unless the coroner himself is a practicing pathologist in a smaller jurisdiction who prefers to do all the autopsies himself, most coroner's offices will either contract with or have a full-time pathologist on staff. Larger coroner's offices might even hire several pathologists, some specializing in lab and tissue analysis and others in cadavers/autopsies.

Other Forensic Scientists

Toxicologists, serologists and DNA analysts are typical examples of other types of forensic scientists that might be found at a coroner's office. These specialized scientists allow coroner's labs to perform tests to isolate genetic material and identify other unknown substances.

Administrative and Legal Staff

Big-city coroner's offices might have a dozen or more administrative staff, from clerks to human resources specialist to legal assistants or attorneys, as well as the forensic staff. Smaller coroners' offices might just have one or two multi-purpose administrative employees.

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