The different types of coroner jobs include deputy coroners, coroner technicians, and coroner investigators. These positions work with local law enforcement to discover the cause and manner of death of individuals discovered at the scene of a sudden death. Responsibilities often include handling dead bodies and any personal belongings that accompany them, speaking with the families of the deceased, and assisting pathologists in performing autopsies. The primary employer of these various types of jobs is generally the regional and local government.
A sudden death is determined when no physician is specifically in attendance of the deceased, or the deceased may have died under suspicious circumstances. A deputy coroner is chiefly responsible for investigating the body and the scene of the death to determine how the individual died. He may also be required to notify the next of kin of the individual, and to answer any questions the family may have concerning the manner of death. Any personal belongings found on the body of the deceased are cataloged by the deputy coroner, and released into the care of the family once the investigation has been completed.
A person in this position may also attend autopsies of bodies discovered at sudden death scenes. He may be present to answer any questions the pathologist performing the autopsy may have regarding the condition and the scene in which the body was found. The deputy coroner is also often called upon to testify in court regarding any information related to the body, the scene where it was discovered, and relevant medical information uncovered during the autopsy as it relates to his investigation. He is often the highest position of the coroner jobs in the morgue, and may be responsible for additional employees to whom he delegates responsibilities.
A coroner technician assists the deputy coroner in the fulfillment of his duties and in managing the local morgue. The position of technician may be used to gain experience to move into other coroner jobs with greater degrees of responsibility. This type of position oversees all relevant paperwork regarding the deceased, including filing the death certificate once it has been completed by the deputy coroner, cataloging the deceased's belongings, and storing unclaimed items. The technician may be required to prepare bodies for autopsy, and to supervise the release of bodies into the care of family members once the coroner has completed his investigation.
Some offices may also employ coroner investigators. These types of coroner jobs are answerable to the deputy coroner, and assist in the completion and filing of reports regarding the cause of death. Other duties are similar to that of a coroner technician, and may also involve the transportation of bodies to and from the morgue when necessary.