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Is a Career as a Coroner Right for You?


It might not be for everybody, but coroners make good money and perform a much-needed service at a difficult time. If you have the emotional sensitivity and physical aptitude, consider a career as a coroner.

(Photo Credit: ell brown/Flickr)

Well-Rounded Education

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Coroners need a good education. They study both the physical sciences, such as biology and chemistry, and social sciences, such as forensics and the law. If you love both humanities and sciences, then you may be able to plot a successful course of study toward becoming a coroner.

In most states, coroners must hold a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) In those states, aspiring coroners may expect to spend four years in graduate school.


In some jurisdictions, coroners are elected officials. Depending upon where you live and wish to work, you may need to campaign for the position. In other areas, however, coroners are appointed.


Being a coroner is an odd mix of a variety of professional skills. You need the medical knowledge of a surgeon coupled with an understanding of forensics and how to determine cause and time of death.

In addition to dealing with the cold and dead, you must have the compassion of a psychologist when speaking with family members of the dead.

Coroners enjoy a median salary of just under $50,000 per year. There is a wide range, however, with the highest being a little over $100,000.

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