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How much do forensic science pathologists make?

Updated March 23, 2017

In terms of education and training, forensic science pathologists may be the most advanced specialists in the field of forensics. Forensic pathologists are medical doctors who assist in legal matters by conducting autopsies and other medical examinations that help determine the time and cause of a person's death, as well as assist police in determining if a death involves foul play. As medical doctors, forensic pathologists receive high salaries. However, earning a physician's salary requires years of preparation, including medical school and specialised training in pathology and forensic pathology.

Identification

Forensic pathologists are often referred to as pathologists. Many of them work in pathologist's offices at the state, county or municipal level. Other forensic pathologists work in hospital systems and universities, the National Association of Pathologists reported. A pathologist's place of employment influences the size of the physician's annual salary.

Salary range

InsidePrison.com reported the salary ranges for a wide variety of forensics-related occupations, including crime scene technicians, crime lab analysts, DNA specialists, firearms examiners, fingerprint examiners and forensic pathologists. The website reported that forensic pathologists earn average annual salaries that range from £78,000 to more than £104,000. Inside Prison also reported salary ranges for deputy pathologists and chief pathologists. Deputy examiners earn between £32,500 and £130,000 a year, while chief pathologists earn between £94,250 and £150,800 a year.

Pay Scale Data

The Pay Scale website reported results of a salary survey of forensic pathologists on its website in January 2011. The results did not break results down by positions based on seniority, such as deputy pathologist or chief pathologist. According to Pay Scale, forensic pathologists earn annual salaries ranging from £27,574 to more than £105,300. The website's results indicate that pathologists with less than five years of experience earn the lower salaries, while those with more than five years of experience earn more than £65,000 a year.

Warning

Like any medical speciality, becoming a forensic pathologist requires more than 10 years of investment in education and training. In addition to four years of college, students also must complete four years of medical school, followed by training and residency in pathology and forensic pathology, according to the National Association of Pathologists. This means you could be in your early 30s with a large student loan debt before earning the salary of a forensic pathologist.

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About the Author

Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science.