State of Maryland

Autopsy Assistant,Lead (#005364)

- Hourly / - BiWeekly /
- Monthly / $34,858.00-$54,732.00 Yearly






An Autopsy Assistant, Lead is the lead level of work assisting a forensic pathologist in the performance of autopsy examinations of humans.  Employees in this classification maintain, sterilize and clean the autopsy area and equipment.  Employees in this classification assign, review and approve the work of and train Autopsy Assistants.  

Employees in the classification receive general supervision from a designated administrative position.  During autopsies, employees in this classification work under the direction of a forensic pathologist.  Work is performed in the autopsy room of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  Employees in this classification may work weekends and holidays.  The work involves assisting with the lifting of bodies and employees are frequently exposed to odors from human remains, chemicals and body fluids infected with contagious diseases.  Employees are required to wear protective clothing and equipment when assisting with autopsies.  

Positions in this classification are evaluated using the classification job evaluation methodology.  The use of this method involves comparing the assigned duties and responsibilities of a position to the job criteria found in the Nature of Work and Examples of Work sections of a class specification.     

The Autopsy Assistant, Lead is differentiated from the Autopsy Assistant in that the Autopsy Assistant, Lead assigns, reviews and approves the work of and trains Autopsy Assistants while the Autopsy Assistant performs the full range of duties and responsibilities under general supervision.  


Assigns work to lower-level Autopsy Assistants;

Trains lower-level Autopsy Assistants and oversees their work;

Receives human remains and secures personal effects;

Prepares corpses for examination;

Assists the forensic pathologist in the opening, closing and suturing of corpses;

Removes vital organs from corpses;

Collects and labels body fluids and tissues;

Preserves pathological specimens as directed;

Uses X-ray and fluoroscopic equipment under the direction of a forensic pathologist;

Takes fingerprints from corpses;

Assembles skeletal remains for examination;

Assists grieving relatives or friends who are identifying bodies;

Prepares corpses for release;

Provides information by phone to family and friends, funeral directors and law enforcement officers concerning the deceased person;

Performs some administrative duties when the supervisor is absent, such as release of bodies to funeral homes, documentation of authorized person to receive bodies and inventory of personal effects;

Keeps the autopsy area, equipment and instruments in a clean and sanitary condition and restocks supplies;

Operates refrigeration and incineration equipment;

Lifts and moves corpses and equipment;

Performs other related duties.  


Knowledge of human anatomy;

Knowledge of basic chemistry;

Knowledge of autopsy procedures;

Knowledge of infection control procedures;

Knowledge of State laws and regulations governing human cadavers;

Skill in the use of surgical instruments and other autopsy tools;

Skill in making proper incisions to open, close and suture bodies;

Skill in effective oral communication;

Ability to assist with autopsies of humans;

Ability to make and close incisions;

Ability to remove vital organs;

Ability to collect and label body fluids and tissue samples;

Ability to operate X-ray and fluoroscopic equipment;

Ability to apply fingerprinting techniques;

Ability to assist grieving friends and relatives in a professional manner;

Ability to apply proper sterilization and clean-up procedures;

Ability to assign, review and approve the work and train Autopsy Assistants.  


Education:    Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate.

Experience:  Two years of experience embalming or assisting in the performance of autopsies on humans.  


1. Possession of an Associate degree from an accredited college or university in mortuary science may be substituted for one year of the required experience.          

2. Experience embalming or assisting in the performance of autopsies on humans may be substituted, on a year-for-year basis, for the required education..  

3. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a non-commissioned officer in Mortician       classifications or Mortuary Affairs Specialist or Mortician specialty codes in the Autopsy field of work on a year-for-year       basis for the required experience.  




Class specifications are broad descriptions covering groups of positions used by various State departments and agencies. Position descriptions maintained by the using department or agency specifically address the essential job functions of each position.  

This is a Skilled Service classification in the State Personnel Management System.  All positions in this classification are Skilled Service positions.  Some positions in Skilled Service classifications may be designated Special Appointment in accordance with the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 6-405, Annotated Code of Maryland.  

This classification is assigned to Bargaining Unit D, Health and Human Service Nonprofessionals classes.  As provided by the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 3-102, special appointment, temporary, contractual, supervisory, managerial and confidential employees are excluded from collective bargaining.  Additionally, certain executive branch agencies are exempt from collective bargaining and all positions in those agencies are excluded from collective bargaining.  

Employees in this classification are eligible to receive overtime compensation. An employee who works more than the normal workweek is entitled to be compensated for that overtime, as provided by the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 8-305.  

Date Established


Date Revised

January 12, 2018

Approved By

Director, Division of Classification and Salary

CLASS: 005364; EST: 1/1/2016; REV: 7/1/2019;

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