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Career and Education Opportunities for Coroners in Birmingham, Alabama

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for coroners in the Birmingham, Alabama area. The national trend for coroners sees this job pool growing by about 31.1% over the next eight years. In general, coroners direct activities such as autopsies, pathological and toxicological analyses, and inquests relating to the investigation of deaths occurring within a legal jurisdiction to determine cause of death or to fix responsibility for accidental, violent, or unexplained deaths.

A person working as a coroner can expect to earn about $22 per hour or $46,830 yearly on average in Alabama and about $23 hourly or $48,890 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Adjustment and Analysis, people working as coroners in Alabama earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Adjustment and Analysis nationally. Jobs in this field include: medical examiner, deputy coroner, and forensic medical examiner.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a coroner. Given that the most common education level for coroners is post-Doctoral training, you can expect to spend at least four or five years training to become a coroner if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or at least eight to ten years starting with a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Coroner

Coroner video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, coroners direct activities such as autopsies, pathological and toxicological analyses, and inquests relating to the investigation of deaths occurring within a legal jurisdiction to determine cause of death or to fix responsibility for accidental, violent, or unexplained deaths.

Coroners inquire into the causes and circumstances of human deaths and establish the identities of deceased persons. They also inventory personal effects recovered from bodies. Equally important, coroners have to talk with officials of public health and law enforcement agencies to direct interdepartmental efforts. They are often called upon to observe and record the positions and conditions of bodies and related evidence. They are expected to collect and document any pertinent medical history data. Finally, coroners locate and document data regarding the next of kin, including their relationship to the deceased and the status of notification attempts.

Every day, coroners are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for coroners to witness and certify deaths that are the result of a judicial order. They are often called upon to manage the next of kin to be notified of deaths. They also perform medicolegal examinations and autopsies, conducting preliminary examinations of bodies to identify victims, locate signs of trauma, and identify factors that would indicate time of death. They are sometimes expected to complete death certificates, including the assignment of cause and manner of death. Somewhat less frequently, coroners are also expected to collect wills and other documentation needed for investigations and for handling of the remains.

and testify at inquests and court trials. And finally, they sometimes have to collect wills and other documentation needed for investigations and for handling of the remains.

Like many other jobs, coroners must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Business Management Analyst. Conduct organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, conduct work simplifications and measurement studies, and prepare operations and procedures manuals to assist management in operating more efficiently and effectively. Includes program analysts and management consultants.
  • Cost Analyst. Prepare cost estimates for product manufacturing, construction projects, or services to aid management in bidding on or determining price of product or service. May specialize according to particular service performed or type of product manufactured.
  • Emergency Management Coordinator. Coordinate disaster response or crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural, wartime, or technological disasters or hostage situations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Coroner Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Administration which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a master's degree program in Public Administration which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.