There are four items required to become a coroner investigator: post-secondary training, related work experience, psychological profile, and the completion the job interview process. A coroner investigator is responsible for responding to calls to collect a body from hospitals, long-term care facilities, police, and members of the public. The role of the investigator is to take legal custody of the remains, arrange for transport to the morgue, and locating and identifying the next of kin.
People who are trained to work on the front lines of health services, are not squeamish, and enjoy working independently find this type of career interesting. It is important to note that a coroner investigator is not responsible for conducting autopsies or preparing the body for burial. This job requires long hours and the physical strength to move bodies with assistance.
The first requirement to become a coroner investigator is to complete a post-secondary education program. There is no specific training program to become a coroner investigator. Instead, candidates must have at least a four-year degree or diploma in the health sciences. Courses required include anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology.
Related work experience is typically required to apply for this type of role. In general, most employers require at least one year experience working with catastrophic injury or death. This experience is usually obtained through work as an emergency or operating room nurse, paramedic, emergency medical technologist or related profession. The vast majority of employers will not accept candidates without this type of working background.
This career is not suitable for anyone who is not mentally prepared to be faced with death on a daily basis. Although glorified in the media, only a very small group of people will find they are suited to become a coroner investigator. The burn-out rate is very high, and is reflective of the mental and emotional stress of this job.
Most employers will require a recent psychological profile for any candidate. This profile typically covers the primary motivation for wanting to work in this field, personal strengths and weaknesses, and stress coping mechanisms. In addition, many agencies have drug-testing protocols for their employees, to look for both prescription and street drug use.
When applying to become a coroner investigator, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double-checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. During the job interview process, take the time to prepare for the interview. Think of a list of standard interview questions and prepare your answers in advance.