How to become an autopsy technician & A detailed Guide

How to become an autopsy technician & A detailed Guide

In this world, every effect has a cause, and every cause generates an effect. A question arises when someone dies, how can we know the reason for his death? The Autopsy technician actually tries to give the answer to this question.

In this article, we will discuss what an autopsy technician is and what are his responsibilities? How to become an autopsy technician, and what are the career opportunities and challenges in this profession.


What is an autopsy technician?

How to become an autopsy technician

An autopsy technician is a skillful and experienced professional who determines and examines the causes of the death of a deceased person.

They usually provide support in criminal prosecutions to get information about the murder of any person. They work with medical examiners and pathologists.

The technicians in autopsy jobs and professions are usually highly qualified and experienced professionals who perform multiple nature of responsibilities in the field of autopsy and medical investigations.

How to Become an Autopsy Technician?

You must be thinking while reading about autopsy technicians about how to become an autopsy nurse or technician?

An autopsy technician is an experienced professional that becomes a technician after a specific autopsy training and qualification. We are going to discuss the qualification and experience.

After that, any person can become an autopsy technician.

Educational requirements for an Autopsy technician

The individual who is willing for an autopsy job must have a high school diploma and have an education in biology, anatomy, and chemistry. Many experienced autopsy technicians have bachelor’s degrees in forensic, biology, and mortuary sciences.

The applicants who have an associate degree can apply for the job of autopsy technician. Many people prefer a bachelor’s degree for applying for an autopsy technician job, but it requires adequate knowledge and experience in the field.

Work Experience as an Autopsy technician

Internship & Experience

Once the individual completes his bachelor’s degree, he can apply to any institution that offers autopsy technician jobs. In his preliminary experience, he can also work as an autopsy assistant. In an autopsy assistant program or internship, the candidate can be able to get the initial and essential experience of this job. 


How to become an autopsy technician

The most common program in which the candidates can get essential experience in this job is the pathology assistant graduate program. Forensic pathologist assistant education requirements are also helpful in getting a job in the field of autopsy technician.

Pathology technician requirements can be fulfilled in by doing relevant job experiences after the bachelor’s degree.

Physical Requirements for Autopsy Technician

Active & Decision Making

An autopsy technician is a person who has to perform various types of responsibilities. He must have the physical strength to move and manage bodies of various sizes. They should have knowledge and activeness to deal with different and complicated situations.

They should be able to make tough and time-accord decisions, he has good judgment ability, and can evaluate things and situations in a precise manner.

Work Passionately

The autopsy technician should have a proper understanding of technical instructions and materials. They usually work alongside pathologists and forensic scientists. They should also be able to work efficiently and independently if, in some conditions, it is necessary.

Skills and Duties of Autopsy Technician

There are various skills and duties associated with autopsy technicians required to be performed and completed. The job of these technicians is somewhat tricky and challenging that requires proper knowledge, skill, and experience.

The autopsy technicians generally perform the following skills and duties.

  • They assist and help forensic pathologists during the autopsy. They perform their responsibilities in the process of the autopsy.
  • They move the bodies onto the tables. The bodies can have different sizes and bring from different circumstances. They do the necessary preparatory work in bringing up the bodies onto the tables for necessary work.
  • They clean up the area after the autopsy and sanitize the area where the work was done.
  • They weigh and analyze samples that have been taken from the body. They weigh, check and examine the different organs of the body.
  • Autopsy technicians accept bodies into the labs and make suitable spaces for them.
  • After receiving bodies, they contact the relatives of the deceased person and make them aware of the demise of the person and its causes.
  • They transfer the bodies to the funerals after the proper checkup and finding out the causes of their death.
  • At crime scenes, they assist the case with relevant evidence. They can provide the actual causes of the death to the court. In this way, the chances of fulfilling justice can become clear.
  • They collect fingerprints and make security data valuable for legal authorities.
  • They preserve and prepare evidence. This evidence can be useful for different legal and medical purposes. 
  • They also preserve physical and biological evidence. This evidence provides essential and indispensable information about any case, situation, and matter.

Salary for Autopsy Technicians

According to a 2017 BLS report, the salaries of forensic science technicians are ranged from about $33,880 to $95,600. The average annual wage is $61,220, and the hourly wage is $29.43. There are various and multiple factors that can affect their wages and salaries, including experience, training, employer, or geographic location.

Every state has determined the salaries of autopsy technicians according to their overall economy and budget. Below is an example of how the salaries of technicians can fluctuate from one country to another.

There is a list of the five highest-paying countries and states for autopsy and pathologist technicians salary and forensic science technicians.

Highly-paid CountriesAutopsy Technician Salary

Now, we will discuss the five lowest-paying states. As you can see, there is a substantial difference between what these technicians earn in California and what is earned in Arkansas. 

Lowest paid CountriesAutopsy Technician Salary
New Mexico$40,480
North Dakota$42,240
Technicians Kentuck $44,490
Technicians Maine $46,930

Thus we can say that the salaries of the technicians are based on the local conditions of any country.

Career Outlook of Autopsy Technician

How to become an autopsy technician

Employment Growth & New Jobs

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics includes and lists autopsy technicians in the category of forensic science technicians and experts. According to the bureau, the employment growth of these professionals reached 17% between 2016 and 2026, which can result in about 2,600new jobs being created by 2026.

Offices To Work In

Autopsy technicians usually work in medical examiners’ offices, criminal investigation institutions and agencies, and hospitals. Some may also apply to work in law enforcement. These technicians help law enforcement agencies to reduce crimes by diagnosing the actual reasons for any heinous murder crime.

Forensic autopsy technicians

Forensic autopsy technicians are basically aware of the autopsy technician field’s responsibilities, policies, and departmental procedures. They are aware of infection control standards, quality improvements, safety issues, and environmental standards. 

Forensic autopsy technicians have experience, and they deal with the following functions.

  • Forensic autopsy technicians know how to use x-rays and photographs. 
  • They know the laboratory procedures and different processes.
  • They have knowledge about Modern pathological, forensic, and lab practices and principles.
  • They are usually well-aware of Universal safety and precautions guidelines.
  • They have the required knowledge about Legal requirements related to medical examiners.

Licensure and Certification of Autopsy technicians

Prioritize Certifications & Upskills

There is not essentially an indispensable requirement for an autopsy technician to be licensed or certified. But in many cases, the license or certificate is a priority for those candidates who cant to enhance and promote their knowledge and upgrade their skills in autopsy.

The certification can boost the career opportunities of a candidate to be selected in any authentic and reliable institution providing the services of the autopsy. 

Qualification Exam

Individuals to want to obtain certificates or licenses can obtain them through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). To earn the license, the candidate has to pass a 240 multiple-choice certification exam. It is essential for a candidate to be eligible for the exam; the applicant must meet the requirements.

Requirements for Autopsy Certification

There are some requirements that require to be fulfilled by an individual to get a license or certification of the autopsy. These requirements are:

  • The candidate or applicant should be at least 18 years old.
  • The candidate must have a high school diploma or any other equivalent degree that authenticates his qualification.
  • The candidate who is applying for a license should be working in the medical examiner’s Office. 
  • He should have dealt with and conducted the death scene investigations.
  • The candidate has at least 640 hours of experience in death scene investigations.

When a candidate successfully clears the exam, then he can get his autopsy certification and license. After certification, he will be known as a specialist in his profession.


In this article, we have walked you through the essential information related to autopsy technicians. From this article, you have definitely come to know how to become an autopsy technician and what the essential milestones need to be achieved to reach this destination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to become a pathologist technician?

An individual can become a pathologist technician by completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and passing the licensing exam for a pathologist technician.

How to find autopsy technician jobs near me?

You can make a search on the internet to find the institutions offering autopsy technician jobs 


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