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Career and Education Opportunities for Coroners in Des Moines, Iowa

There are many career and education opportunities for coroners in the Des Moines, Iowa area. The national trend for coroners sees this job pool growing by about 31.1% over the next eight years. Coroners generally 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.

The income of a coroner is about $22 hourly or $46,220 per year on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 per hour or $48,890 per year on average. Coroners earn more than people working in the category of Adjustment and Analysis generally in Iowa and less than people in the Adjustment and Analysis category nationally. Coroners work in a variety of jobs, including: forensic pathologist, coroner's juror, and forensic medical examiner.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as a coroner. Coroners usually hold post-Doctoral training, so it will take at least four or five years to learn to be 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 Des Moines 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

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a master's degree program in Public Administration which graduated 101 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.