Employment Opportunity

Forensic Technician I

Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, Los Angeles, California

Salary: $45,907.68 - $60,170.16 Annually

Final Filing Date: Continuous

Under supervision, assists the pathologist in performing autopsies; prepares bodies of deceased persons for autopsy examination and final disposition; receives, identifies and releases bodies; and does other work as required.

Positions allocable to this class have responsibility to assist in performing autopsies utilizing basic knowledge of tests, procedures and equipment used in assisting the pathologist at the Department of Coroner but may be limited in performing specialized procedures and techniques. This class is characterized by the quantity and diversity of autopsies performed on decedents. This class requires incumbents to lift and move heavy equipment and decedents while preparing for and assisting in autopsies and other job-related duties.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Prepares decedents for post-mortem examinations by removing specified decedent or specimen from crypt storage area and placing it on the autopsy table, verifying decedent's identity from a toe and ankle tag, setting up the necessary equipment instruments and solutions in order to ensure compliance with Federal and State laws, County ordinances, safety guidelines, and departmental policies.
  • Assists the pathologist in performing autopsies by opening the cranium, thoracic and abdominal cavities using tools (e.g., scalpel, bone cutter, autopsy saw, lopping shears, etc.); excising and dissecting organs and specimens (e.g., liver, bile, stomach) using instruments (e.g., scissors, knives, weight scales, etc.); obtaining blood samples and other body fluids for toxicological examinations; recording weights of organs and body fluids; prepares specimens for cultures; files pathologic specimens; suturing and cleaning bodies; and returning decedents to crypt storage area under close supervision in order to ensure compliance with Federal and State laws, County ordinances, safety guidelines, and departmental policies.
  • Assists in performing minor laboratory work by preparing specimens for examination and assuming responsibilities for the proper storage of specimens in order to ensure compliance with Federal and State laws, County ordinances, safety guidelines, and departmental policies.
  • Assists the pathologist in identifying, gathering, and properly storing physical evidence (e.g., clothing evidence, gunshot residue, appliances, ligatures, garrotes, prescription drugs, narcotics and paraphernalia, trace evidence, foreign objects, etc.) by maintaining a proper chain of custody (e.g., ensuring that evidence is not contaminated, using appropriate storage and labeling, limiting access to evidence, etc.) to ensure the integrity of the collected evidence in compliance with the Federal and State rules regarding evidence collection, safety guidelines, and departmental policies and procedures.
  • Cleans and maintains the autopsy room, equipment, and tools by sterilizing instruments, removing soiled linens, stocking clean linens and other necessary supplies to ensure proper and safe functioning of the autopsy room and equipment in order to ensure compliance with Federal and State laws, County ordinances, safety guidelines, and departmental policies.
  • Transports decedents to Coroner or other designated facilities by operating a wide-range of field/special response unit vehicles to drive to a variety of death scenes (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, automobile accidents, etc.) and recover, lift, secure, and transfer the decedents in order to ensure compliance with Federal and State laws, County ordinances, safety guidelines, and departmental policies, as needed.
  • Takes custody of the decedent's personal effects (e.g., money and valuables) by creating a written inventory of decedent's collected property in the presence of a witness, storing them at the Department of Coroner or securing them at the death scene in order to safeguard or properly transfer the possession of said property to the decedent's next of kin in compliance with Federal and State laws, County ordinances, and departmental policies and procedures and under close supervision.
  • Interacts with a variety of individuals (e.g., coworkers, supervisors, families, law enforcement agencies, government officials, medical professionals, other scientific investigatory agencies, members of the public, etc.) to collaborate with other Coroner staff and law enforcement agencies and provide general information to families and members of the public in order to represent the Department in a professional, sensitive, and empathetic manner and facilitate communication and cooperation between the Department and interested parties.
  • Prepares a variety of written documents (e.g., evidence and personal effects logs, receipts, etc.) by compiling and organizing the necessary information and composing the text in a logical manner using appropriate computer software programs (e.g., word processing) in order to facilitate accurate and effective communication, reporting, and record keeping within the Department in compliance with Federal and State laws and departmental policies and procedures and under close supervision.
  • Complies with all applicable health and safety standards (e.g., using personal protective equipment and ensuring it is in good working condition, following appropriate blood-borne pathogen practices, handling of chemical and biological materials properly, etc.) by following the applicable guidelines (e.g., CAL-OSHA) and reporting defects or problems so they can be appropriately addressed or repaired in order to maintain a clean, safe, and professional work environment.
  • Provides testimony in judicial proceedings by conveying procedural and/or technical information related to procurement of evidence and/or property during the autopsy with professionalism and clarity in order to accurately represent the findings determined by the Department, as needed.


  • One year's experience handling, transporting, and preparing deceased person for post-mortem examinations and subsequent release at the level of Forensic Attendant*
  • -OR-
  • An Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree or higher in Mortuary Science.
  • A valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions.
  • 4 - Arduous. Involves frequent heavy lifting over 25 pounds, often combined with bending, twisting, or working on irregular surfaces; and occasionally requires extraordinary physical activity.
    *Experience at the level of Forensic Attendant in the County of Los Angeles is defined as transporting and preparing decedents for post-mortem examinations and for release to mortuary subsequent to examination.

Do you have the Education Required? See available on-line and campus-based degree programs now!

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: September 7, 2019

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