How to Prepare to Be a Coroner

Written by carl carabelli
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How to Prepare to Be a Coroner
Coroners, unlike pathologists, are elected rather than hired. (Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Coroners are often confused with pathologists. While pathologists are required to have formal medical training, it is not always the case for a coroner. Coroners serve more as coordinators between law enforcement, medical personnel and the families of the deceased. You don't simply apply for the job; you must be elected to the position after spending time in the medical, legal or law enforcement professions.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Obtain a degree. Useful majors include medicine, biology, criminal justice, law and forensic science.

  2. 2

    Obtain an advanced education in one of the aforementioned majors. The higher level of education will be an asset when you seek appointment or election.

  3. 3

    Work in your field of study. You will not become a coroner without experience in one of the aforementioned fields. Keep focused on your goal of becoming a coroner, and steer your responsibilities toward areas that will help you get appointed or elected. For example, if you are working forensics, request to be assigned to the homicide division.

  4. 4

    Research your state's requirements to become a coroner. Determine whether you need to be elected or appointed.

  5. 5

    Apply for any appropriate licenses. The need for a license varies by state. Check with your state's medical board to determine the necessity and procedure.

  6. 6

    Begin your campaign for coroner. If coroner is an elected position in your state, prep a campaign that paints you as the most qualified candidate. Cite your experience and success in the field of law or medicine as a qualification. If the job is appointed, request consideration through the appropriate office. Whether you have to sell yourself to a board or to the public, focus on your qualifications to prove you are the best person for the job.

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