Employment Opportunity

Deputy Coroner

Orange County Coroner, Santa Ana, California

Salary: $62,171.20 - $83,782.40 Annually

Final Filing Date: Open until filled

The Orange County Sheriff's Department is currently accepting applications on a continuous basis until the needs of the department are met. This recruitment is being held to establish an Open Eligible List to fill current and future Deputy Coroner vacancies until the next recruitment. Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately as this recruitment may close at any time without further notice.

Incumbents will be periodically rotated through assignments, shifts, including nights, weekends and holidays.

Conduct medico-legal death investigations of all sudden, violent, and unexpected deaths that occur within the County of Orange in order to determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of death, and the identity of decedents coming under the Sheriff-Coroner's jurisdiction; order autopsies performed by professional staff; and do other work as required.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Receives calls from law enforcement agencies, doctors, and others with potential cases.
  • Determines if cases are within the legal jurisdiction of the Sheriff-Coroner Department for investigation.
  • Takes charge of Coroner’s investigation at scene of death and determines scope of investigation.
  • As needed, requests specialists or representatives from concerned agencies for assistance in criminal or special cases.
  • Performs investigations to determine cause and manner of death.
  • Establishes and/or confirms the identity of decedents and interviews witnesses involved.
  • Inspects medical and other records or sources pertinent to circumstances, manner, and cause of death.
  • Conducts medico-legal examination of remains at scene of death.
  • Conducts death scene search and gathers, collects, analyzes, and preserves evidence.
  • Takes photographs and fingerprints of decedent.
  • Executes and serves Coroner’s subpoena according to law.
  • As required, orders, authorizes, and supervises autopsies.
  • Requests services and assists toxicologists, criminalists, and other specialists in arriving at the cause of death.
  • Interprets records of medical treatment including general care, surgery, and anesthesia.
  • Assists forensic pathologist in establishing cause of death and determines classification as natural, accident, suicide, homicide, or undetermined.
  • Takes possession of personal property found on decedent.
  • Evaluates wills and other legal documents.
  • Determines and provides for legal disposition of property.
  • Protects households and other property pending arrival of legally authorized representatives of decedent.
  • Conducts death notifications as necessary.
  • Provides vital information and, as appropriate, a detailed medical history to the Death Certificate Review Panel.
  • Answers inquiries from attending physicians regarding intricacies in circumstances of a particular death.
  • May assist doctor in arriving at proper terminology and sequence of events in signing out case without Coroner’s jurisdiction.
  • Prepares investigation reports on case.
  • With the approval of Chief Deputy Coroner/Captain, prepares, signs, and certifies Death Certificates.
  • Completes a thorough investigative report and testifies in court as an expert witness regarding findings of the investigation.
  • Performs additional duties as assigned.


General Knowledge of:
  • Investigative principles and techniques
  • Techniques of investigative interviewing
  • Use of scientific investigative equipment
  • Laws and rules of evidence
  • Laws pertaining to death and dead bodies
  • Criminal, civil, and probate laws
  • Physiology, anatomy, medical terminology, and techniques used in general medicine or criminal or coroner's investigations
Some Knowledge of:
  • Medicine and its subspecialties and techniques
  • Methods of recognition, collection, preservation, and analysis of medico-legal and/or criminal evidence
  • Prescribed drugs, both generic and name brands, poisons, and other toxic elements and compounds
Ability to:
  • Analyze situations and take effective action
  • Work effectively under unpleasant conditions
  • Communicate effectively with attorneys, medical doctors, law enforcement officers, and distraught persons
  • Prepare clear, concise reports and correspondence
  • Answer questions of law pertaining to death and dead bodies
  • Converse with professional medical personnel on a technical level
Education and Experience:
  • Option I - One year as an investigator with a city, county, state, military, or federal law enforcement agency, Coroner Department, or Medical Examiner's Office OR two years as an investigator for a nongovernment entity conducting medico-legal investigations.
  • Option II - Two years in the Orange County class of Forensic Assistant, Forensic Specialist, or Forensic Scientist OR two years in a science or paramedical field such as Autopsy Technician, Registered Nurse, Paramedic, Police Evidence Technician, Criminalist, or any other medical/science related experience which demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and abilities listed.
  • Option III - Possession of a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university in Criminal Justice, Biology, Nursing, Forensic Science, Mortuary Science, or other related subject to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Option IV - Possession of an Associate Degree from an accredited college in Criminal Justice, Biology, Nursing, Paramedic Science, or Mortuary Science combined with some experience as a Reserve Peace Officer, Coroner's Volunteer, Forensic Assistant, Orange County Sheriff's Special Officer, Mortician, Licensed Embalmer, Emergency Medical Technician I, Reserve Firefighter, or other related experience.
License Required:
  • Possession of a valid California Driver License by date of appointment.
SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS - Requirements for Deputy Coroner per California Government Code Section 1031:
  • Must not have been convicted of a felony
  • Must pass a background investigation to the satisfaction of the Sheriff-Coroner
  • Must be at least 20 years of age by date of appointment
  • Be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition which might adversely affect exercise of Deputy Coroner powers, as determined by a license examining authority
  • United States citizenship or qualify under provisions of California Government Code Section 1031.5
  • Graduation from high school or attainment of a satisfactory score on a G.E.D. test or California High School Proficiency exam
  • Incumbent will be required to successfully complete a Penal Code 832 (Arrest and Firearms) course and the Coroner's Death Investigation course within one year of date of hire, and must qualify for a specialized Basic Post Certificate within the first year of employment.
  • Applicants must not have been convicted of a felony or be on any form of probation and must pass an extensive background investigation to the satisfaction of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner.
  • Background screening includes completing of a Personal History Form, interview with a background investigator, fingerprinting and may include a polygraph test. Some of the areas considered in the background screening include prior convictions, traffic violations, drug use and credit problems, employment history, professional references and education verification (i.e.. degree, license, or official transcripts).
PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS - The County of Orange is committed to providing a means for applicants who may have a disability to identify areas in which they may request a reasonable accommodation. The following is a description of the physical and mental abilities which are customarily required to perform the essential job functions of this position. Applicants are encouraged to contact the recruiter listed for any questions or to request an accommodation during the testing/selection process.
  • Physical and Mental Requirements: Sufficient vision to distinguish colors and utilize field equipment. Ability to hear well enough to communicate and take direction. Ability to independently reason and analyze data, and to reach objective conclusions. Ability to work under stressful conditions, deadlines, and competing priorities. May be required to lift over 50 pounds.
  • Environmental and Working Conditions: Standard office environment in a morgue setting plus field work. Field work may be subject to inclement weather conditions, varying terrain and/or uneven surfaces, heights, and confined spaces. May be exposed to biological agents, chemical agents, fumes, blood and other bodily fluids, offensive odors, contagious diseases, firearms, and pepper spray. May be required to drive a County vehicle. Use of standard office equipment.

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

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: February 10, 2020

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