Forensic Autopsy Technician
A forensic autopsy technician is a professional who assists a forensic pathologist (e.g., coroner or medical examiner) who is performing an autopsy on a deceased individual. A forensic autopsy technician assists the forensic pathologist prior to, during, and after an autopsy with both physical and clerical duties that are involved in the autopsy process. Professionals in this field find careers with local, county, state, or federal agencies that have a coroner’s office, medical examiner’s office, or other type of forensic pathologist lab that performs autopsies for medicolegal or criminal investigative purposes.
Skills and Duties
- Assisting forensic pathologist before, during, and after the autopsy
- Moving body onto table before autopsy and doing the necessary preparatory work
- Cleaning up after the autopsy and sanitizing the work area
- Setting up, labeling, and marking collection containers used during autopsy
- Weighing samples taken from body during autopsy; weighing organs
- Accepting bodies into morgue/lab
- Preparing toe tags
- Contacting the relatives or next of kin of the deceased
- Transferring the bodies to funeral homes/crematoriums
- Assisting with evidence collection at crime scenes
- Handling clerical duties required in autopsy processes
According to the BLS, the median pay for forensic science technicians in 2016 was $56,750 annual salary (or $27.29 per hour)¹.
The outlook for this position is positive. From 2016 to 2026, employment is projected to grow 17%¹
¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Anthropologists and Archaeologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm (visited October 27, 2017).