Skip to content

How to become a Coroner

avg. starting salary

Like getting to the bottom of things? You should become a Coroner… Coroners investigate deaths which have unknown or unnatural causes, to determine the correct cause, nature, and time of death. They do this by carrying out a number of tasks – from researching the deceased’s medical history, to observing and studying their body. Not only does this help them to understand how they died, it also determines whether the death was natural, accidental, or deliberate. If a cause is not determined, a Coroner will refer the case to a Pathologist, who will perform a post-mortem examination, or hold an inquest to investigate further. Typical tasks and duties for a Coroner could include:
  • Carrying out examinations to look for signs of trauma
  • Visiting death scenes and identifying the deceased
  • Analysing death reports
  • Issuing formal death certificates
  • Initiating an investigation if circumstances are suspicious
  • Presenting the resulting information in court

If you’re interested in a career in human biology and criminal law, look no further. Aspiring Coroners will need an inquisitive and open mind, as well as the ability to dig deep for answers. This means breaking down events to accurately decipher the cause of someone’s death – no matter how much research it takes. As you’ll be dealing with matters of a sensitive nature, a good level of tact and compassion is vital, especially when dealing with bereaved relatives. You’ll also need:
  • Accuracy, and a methodical approach
  • Good decision making abilities
  • Knowledge of legal procedures
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A strong constitution
  • The ability to break down complex legal and medical terms


Deputy Coroner

Up to £80,000


Up to £105,000

Chief Coroner

Up to £115,000

"I was a frustrated Solicitor, really – and felt I wasn’t able to really get to the bottom of cases in the practical way I wanted. However, although hands-on examinations and tests are a part of my job – it’s not the only thing I do. I appear in court, write reports, and liaise with all kinds of people – from the deceased’s family, to medical and police personnel. It’s all about covering every possible ground when it comes to being a Coroner. Although it can be difficult to deal with the deceased on a daily basis, I find that focusing on potentially finding the evidence needed convict a criminal gives me the strength needed to determine the true cause of death."

Get qualified

Want to see more?
View all Coroner courses
All Coroner jobs