The average medical examiner salary ranges from $23,000 to $102,000. The salary varies according to various factors, like educational qualifications, years of experience, certification, etc. This article gives approximate figures according to the same.
A medical examiner is a medically qualified government officer who is responsible to determine the exact cause of an individual’s death (whether intentional, accidental or natural). This is one of the most sought-after jobs in the field of forensics and health care. A medical examiner, sometimes also referred to as a coroner, is responsible for investigating suspicious deaths and performing post-mortem examinations.
As per Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for forensic science technicians (also includes medical examiners) was $51,570 in May 2010. Due to the growing interest in forensic science, the employment is expected to grow by 19% from 2010 to 2020.
Here is an overview of medical examiner pay scale.
Salary According to the Location
Job location is an important factor when it comes to one’s salary. Similarly, medical examiners are paid higher in states such as Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, etc., as compared to the others. Mississippi ranks highest with an approximate salary of $48,000 as of Feb 2013. The table below shows state-wise medical examiner salary.
New Hampshire- $40,000
New Jersey- $40,000
New Mexico- $32,000
New York- $36,000
North Carolina- $40,000
North Dakota- $38,000
Rhode Island- $41,000
South Carolina- $36,000
South Dakota- $32,000
West Virginia- $40,000
Salary According to Experience
As a fresher in the industry, you can expect a starting salary of $22,000 which can go up to $82,000 with added experience. Individuals with 5 to 9 years of experience can earn a salary between $26,000 and $70,500.
As a medical examiner, you’ll be trained as a forensic pathologist as well as an anatomical pathologist. Therefore, you’ll be required to carry out the following duties:
• Examining dead bodies.
• Examining organs, tissues, cells, and bodily fluids in laboratories.
• Gathering data from toxicology reports.
• Going through past medical records.
• Gathering evidence from the police reports.
• Analyzing lab test reports.
• Maintaining case files.
After the cause of death is determined, these professionals prepare a detailed report of the case and submit it to concerned authorities. They may also be required to appear in the court and act as a witness for assisting in legal formalities. Medical examiners are usually employed in government facilities and agencies, military, hospitals, and health care settings.
Educational Requirements and Certification
It is necessary that you complete eight years of schooling and training to earn a degree in this field. You will be required to earn a medical degree (M.D), move on to a pathology residency and then specialize in a forensic pathology fellowship. Courses in radiology, pathology, toxicology, autopsies, biology, and phlebotomy can be useful. Courses in law or criminal justice will also prove to be beneficial since they will help you understand evidence collection and forensic analysis better.
Passing a licensing test is mandatory in all the 50 states. By spending some additional time in residency and passing a certification test, the professionals can also become board-certified.
- All the above figures are mentioned in US dollars.
- All the above figures are as per Indeed and PayScale as of Feb, 2013.
- The figures are subject to change depending on the employer, educational qualification, experience, and several other factors.