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Coroners
SOC Code: 13-1041.06

Direct 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Chief Deputy Coroner, Coroner, Coroner/Medical Examiner, County Coroner, Deputy Coroner, District Medical Examiner, Elected County Coroner/Chief Medical Examiner, Forensic Pathologist, Medical Examiner, Medical Legal Investigator (MLI)

Tasks

  • Perform 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.
  • Inquire into the cause, manner, and circumstances of human deaths and establish the identities of deceased persons.
  • Complete death certificates, including the assignment of cause and manner of death.
  • Observe and record the positions and conditions of bodies and related evidence.
  • Observe, record, and preserve any objects or personal property related to deaths, including objects such as medication containers and suicide notes.
  • Interview persons present at death scenes to obtain information useful in determining the manner of death.
  • Arrange for the next of kin to be notified of deaths.
  • Complete reports and forms required to finalize cases.
  • Collect and document any pertinent medical history information.
  • Direct activities of workers conducting autopsies, performing pathological and toxicological analyses, and preparing documents for permanent records.
  • Confer with officials of public health and law enforcement agencies to coordinate interdepartmental activities.
  • Provide information concerning the circumstances of death to relatives of the deceased.
  • Locate and document information regarding the next of kin, including their relationship to the deceased and the status of notification attempts.
  • Inventory personal effects recovered from bodies, such as jewelry or wallets.
  • Coordinate the release of personal effects to authorized persons and facilitate the disposition of unclaimed corpses and personal effects.
  • Remove or supervise removal of bodies from death scenes, using the proper equipment and supplies, and arrange for transportation to morgues.
  • Testify at inquests, hearings, and court trials.
  • Collect wills, burial instructions, and other documentation needed for investigations and for handling of the remains.
  • Record the disposition of minor children, as well as details of arrangements made for their care.
  • Witness and certify deaths that are the result of a judicial order.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Bite analysis software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Alcestis; Douglas Associates Forensic Filer; Rapid Medical Examiners System; Toxicology databases (see all 9 examples)
  • Electronic mail software - Email software
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - 3D graphics software; Graphics software; Mideo Systems EZDoc Plus
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Office suite software - Corel WordPerfect; Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Autopsy chisels or osteotomes - Skull chisels
  • Autopsy dissection forceps for general use - Dissection forceps; Toothed forceps
  • Autopsy fluid collection vacuum aspirators or tubing - Autopsy fluid collection vacuum aspirators
  • Autopsy hanging scales - Digital autopsy scales; Specimen scales
  • Autopsy knives or blades - Autopsy knives; Dissecting knives
  • Autopsy saws - Autopsy bone saws; Bone cutters; Rib cutters; Stryker saws
  • Autopsy scissors - Dissection scissors; Enterotomes
  • Autopsy specimen bags or containers - Specimen collection containers
  • Benchtop centrifuges - Tabletop centrifuges
  • Binocular light compound microscopes
  • Biological evidence collection kits - Autopsy evidence collection kits
  • Bone dust collectors
  • Cadaver lifter or transfer devices - Cadaver lifts
  • Desktop computers
  • Dictation machines - Dictation equipment
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras - Digital video cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Facial shields - Protective eye shields
  • Floor or platform scales - Floor scales
  • Laboratory staining dishes or jars - Staining dishes
  • Medical staff coveralls - Protective coveralls
  • Medical staff isolation or surgical masks - Surgical masks
  • Medical x ray units for general diagnostic use - Portable x ray machines
  • Microscope slides
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Postmortem blood detection kits or supplies - Postmortem blood drawing syringes
  • Postmortem fingerprint or impression materials - Postmortem fingerprint equipment
  • Postmortem needles - Postmortem suturing needles
  • Still cameras - 35 millimeter cameras
  • Surgical gloves
  • Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines or accessories - Surgical scalpels
  • Triple beam balances

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

Interests

  • Interest code: IRC
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Telephone - 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 65% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Electronic Mail - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 65% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 61% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 47% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Letters and Memos - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 39% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 55% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 48% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 42% responded “Important results.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 42% responded “Very important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 45% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 42% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 32% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 26% responded “Very serious.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 68% responded “About half the time.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 28% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
23%High school diploma or equivalent
19%Associate's degree
16%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $32.63 hourly, $67,870 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 288,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 25,900

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