Coroner Career

Job Description: 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.


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What Coroners do:

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

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Holland Code Chart for a Coroner