County of Alameda

Coroner's Investigator I (#8503)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Misc Sub/Para Prof (012)
$41.06-$45.57 Hourly / $3,284.80-$3,645.60 BiWeekly /
$7,117.07-$7,898.80 Monthly / $85,404.80-$94,785.60 Yearly

This series specification describes two classes in the Sheriff's Office-Coroner's Bureau which inspect bodies and premises where traumatic or unexpected deaths have occurred; remove and/or assist in the removal of these bodies to the County Morgue; care for property of deceased persons; assist pathologists in autopsies; and do related work as required.


Coroner's Investigator I is the entry-level classification in which incumbents work with journey-level investigators. This is a flexibly-staffed classification. After successfully completing the Special Requirements of this classification and gaining experience and knowledge of the legal codes pertaining to Coroner's Cases, incumbents are expected to qualify for promotion to Coroner's Investigator II within one year's time. They are distinguished from the lower level Sheriff’s Technician class in that the latter assist them with removals but do not participate in investigatory duties.


NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Responds to calls and goes to scenes of death; takes photographs, preserves evidence, and makes notes of matters helpful to the police; confers with police officers regarding conditions noted at scene of death.

2. Removes dead, dismembered, or decomposed bodies from the scenes of death including disaster scenes and scenes involving rough terrain; transports bodies to the County morgue; safeguards all valuables and property found on or about the deceased; notifies next of kin, Health Department and other interested parties as necessary; releases bodies to funeral directors or others properly authorized by heirs or administrators.

3. Prepares records for burial of the indigent and unclaimed dead; prepares written reports of each case investigated, describing the circumstances, cause, and manner surrounding the death, including other pertinent facts, and summaries of information from medical records.

4. Assists pathologist in autopsies, collects specimens, makes incisions and sutures, and maintains cleanliness and sanitation of the morgue.


Either I

The equivalent of one year of full-time experience as a Sheriff’s Technician assisting the pathologist with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Coroner's Bureau, and successful completion of the probationary period.


The equivalent of one year of recent full-time experience in a related field, such as Coroner or Medical Examiner Investigator, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Registered Nurse or Pathology Assistant.


Possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in biological science, such as forensic pathology, nursing, anthropology, or other related field.

Special Requirements:

Successful completion of an approved Coroner's Death Investigation Course and the ability to type 25 words per minute within the first year of employment.

Physical ability to lift dead bodies weighing a minimum of 160 pounds and remove them from the scene of death using acceptable removal techniques.

Successful completion of (A) a thorough background investigation and (B) a psychological evaluation by a licensed psychologist. A record of any felony conviction will result in disqualification.

Applicants must be in excellent physical condition with above average strength, endurance and agility.

Additional Requirements:

Age: Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment.

License: Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's license.


Candidates must have visual acuity of not less than 20/70 in each eye without glasses, corrected with glasses to not less than 20/30; and must be free from color blindness and have no permanent abnormality of either eye.

Hearing: Hearing must be normal in each ear.

Citizenship: Candidates must be a U.S. citizens or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship prior to filing applications for Coroner’s Investigator I or II.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Interviewing and investigative techniques and procedures.
• Standard techniques for gathering and preserving physical evidence.
• Basic medical terminology and human anatomy.
• California Penal Code, Government Code, Health and Safety Code and other codes relating to the function, jurisdiction and authority of the Coroner.

Ability to:

• Exercise good judgment in analyzing evidence and drawing conclusions from it.
• Extract and summarize pertinent information from police and medical reports.
• Write clear and comprehensive Coroner's reports using correct English, grammar and spelling.
• Deal tactfully with next of kin.
• Maintain effective relations with law enforcement agencies, other County departments, public and private organizations and the general public.
• Identify pertinent evidence for use in case investigation.
• Articulate findings of evidence upon completion of investigation.
• Use all available resources, including Internet, to identify and locate persons.

4/81 HC:pb
Revised: 7/87:HC:db
Rev: 9/90:DF:dj
Rev: 6/24/94:DF:dj
Rev: 8/30/94
Old doc: 0787h
New doc: Jobspecs/8503-8504
CSC Date: 8/2/99
ID:pf Rev. 4/15/02
CSC Date: 5/8/02
AM:jf Revision 9/13/17
CSC Date: 10/11/17


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.