For those who have an investigative knack and a passion for providing answers and working in a field closely related with law enforcement, a career as a coroner may be an exciting and fulfilling journey.
Core Responsibilities & Skills of a Coroner
A coroner is responsible for all deaths that come to the morgue. This usually means determining the cause, manner and time of death, if it did not occur within a hospital setting. If a death is unexpected, untimely or suspicious, then a coroner will head the investigation to determine the possibility of foul play and the true cause of death. A coroner may have different duties depending on what state they are in. For example, in Louisiana a coroner is involved in determining whether or not a living person is mentally ill.
Due to the wide range of tasks involved in the processes of determining death and whether or not it was natural, coroners must have applicable skills in a variety of areas, such as: medicine, human anatomy, grievance counseling, forensic science, legal studies and jurisprudence, criminology, pathology and toxicology.
There are several career paths which can be taken in the pursuit of a career as a coroner. A bachelor’s degree in biological science, criminology, anatomy, or forensic science can qualify one as a coroner. In many cases, it is certified doctors who fill the role of coroner. In other cases, a full 4 year diploma may not even be required, as the prospective corner can begin their career in a junior position and learn the required skills while on the job. However, it should be noted that due to the continual advancements in medicine and technology, coroners frequently improve their skills and education with relevant studies throughout their career.
If you would like to begin working on a career as a coroner, then ensuring that your education includes courses in human anatomy, legal studies, criminal justice, biology, toxicology, chemistry and jurisprudence would be a great start.