Human Resources

Job Announcement Description

Job Title:   Forensic Investigator 
Department:   Medical Examiner's Office
Salary:   $3,256.10 per month
How to Apply:    Applications will be accepted until the position is filled and/or the posting is closed. After reviewing this job announcement, please click on the link at the bottom of the page to apply online. A resume is required with the application. Further instructions on submission of documents are available in the online application.

Minimum Requirements:
A Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice, Medical Technology, Biology, Criminology or a related field, OR  four (4) years of experience in a related field.  An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.

College transcript(s) required at time of application.

A valid PA Driver’s License is required prior to appointment.

Applicants selected for employment will be required to attend training and successfully pass the Pennsylvania State Coroner’s Education Board examination.

It is the policy of Allegheny County that in order to receive a final offer of employment, candidates must successfully pass background checks as required for the position.

Position Summary: 

Under the direction of the Manager of Investigations and Forensic Supervisor, the Forensic Investigator is responsible for initiating and conducting death investigations on behalf of the Medical Examiner’s Office. The incumbent will be responsible for fielding telephone calls, determining proper jurisdiction of cases presented to the office for medico legal or judicial inquiry, preparation of comprehensive case reports, conducting or providing for the removal and transportation of human remains, completing various forms and other paperwork, facilitating decedent identification, retrieving and processing medical records, preserving and submitting evidence under proper chain of custody, safeguarding decedent personal effects, and other duties as assigned. The incumbent will have access to private, confidential and restricted information such as police reports, medical records and other written or verbal communications which cannot be shared outside of the Medical Examiner’s office.


  • Investigates deaths reported to the office to determine jurisdiction.
  • Visits scenes of deaths to facilitate proper investigation.
  • Obtains high-quality photographs of all human remains, death scenes, evidence and personal effects.
  • Facilitates transportation of human remains as necessary.
  • Assists in the establishment of forensically sustainable identification of human remains.
  • Makes or facilitates notification to next-of-kin.
  • Provides for proper intake of human remains at ACOME.
  • Maintains chain-of-custody of human remains, evidence and personal effects.
  • Acquires drugs from death scenes according to office policy.
  • Performs follow-up of investigations as necessary to obtain further information relative to the case.
  • Accepts statements of probable cause during investigative activities.
  • Issues and serves, as necessary, subpoenas and other requests for medical records and information essential to an investigation.
  • Retrieves medical records and other information from hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, etc.
  • Reads and properly interprets, to the extent required, medical records, accident reports, police reports and other documents relevant to investigations.
  • Interprets information obtained from the death scene and from other sources in formulating reliable theses for presumptive cause and manner of death.
  • Prepares necessary and required forms, documents, reports and other records.
  • Enters all relevant data and photographs accurately and completely into office databases.
  • Assists as directed with the preparation of human remains for autopsy.
  • Assists with the performance of autopsies or other ACOME activities.
  • Assists in the release of human remains to funeral service providers.
  • Observes all universal precautions against exposure to blood-borne and other pathogens while engaged in ACOME activities.
  • Observes and complies with all policies, standard operating procedures, and directives of Supervisors and Managers.
  • Applies prudent investigative techniques, principle and best practices.
  • Maintains a calm and professional demeanor at all times.
  • Cooperates and collaborates with other investigators and agencies including, but not limited to, police, EMS, fire/rescue, organ procurement personnel and judicial officers.
  • Cooperates with the reasonable requests and expectations of attorneys, insurers, media providers and the general public.
  • Fields inbound telephone calls to the office.
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as requested or required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of:

  • Thorough under of medical terminology and common medical procedures, and ability to read and interpret decedent medical records
  • General knowledge of digital photography

Ability to:

  • Remain compliant with continuing education requirements as mandated by the PA Coroners’ Education Board
  • Proficiency in the use computers and common office software including Microsoft Word, and must become adept at the use of propriety software of the Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Lift and carry one hundred (100) pounds
  • Work diverse shifts, overtime, weekends and holidays as needed
  • Work both independently and in conjunction with other ACOME personnel and representatives of other agencies
  • Work effectively and efficiently under adverse conditions including, but not limited to, scenes involving extremes of temperature and weather conditions, highly stressful environments, criminal activity, and areas where there exist distasteful sights, odors or other circumstances and hazards inherent to death scene investigation
  • Use common office machines and technologies

Residency: Must become a resident of Allegheny County within one (1) year of appointment

Veteran's Preference: Will be awarded to eligible candidates.


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