State of Maryland

Forensic Investigator (#005373)

- Hourly / - BiWeekly /
- Monthly / $44,534.00-$73,611.00 Yearly






A Forensic Investigator is the full performance level of work in the investigation of a violent, sudden or suspicious death or deaths unattended by a physician.  All investigations of this nature are considered medicolegal and are conducted in accordance with National Institute of Justice Guidelines for Death Scene Investigation.  Employees in this classification do not supervise.

Employees in this classification receive general supervision from the Chief Investigator or other designated administrator.  Employees are required to work rotating shifts and are subject to call-in on a twenty-four (24)-hour basis.  The work is performed in both an office setting and at the scenes of death.  When at the scenes of death, the work may involve exposure to hazardous conditions.  Employees are required to use safety equipment such as respirators and gloves when lifting corpses in order to prevent exposure to hazards such as chemicals and body fluids of human remains, which could carry contagious diseases.

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 Forensic Investigator is differentiated from the Forensic Investigator Lead in that the Forensic Investigator performs the full range of duties under general supervision, while the Forensic Investigator Lead assigns, reviews and approves the  work of and trains lower-level Forensic Investigators. 


Investigates circumstances and recovers physical evidence at the scene of death to provide information for the Forensic Pathologist/Medical Examiner to use in determining the time, cause and manner of death and identity of the victim;
Obtains and records factual information regarding the circumstances of death and the decedent’s medical and social history from sources such as the deceased person’s family, employer, physician and police;
Observes and documents the physical conditions at the place of death;
Photographs the decedent and when appropriate, the location where the decedent was found and the location of decedent’s injury in order to supplement the written investigation report;
Assumes responsibility for the custody, handling and transporting of human corpses from the scene of death to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner;
Weighs, measures and deposits human corpses in refrigerated storage using proper documentation;
Oversees the maintenance of assigned state vehicles;
Ensures safety and security of premises, equipment, materials and supplies of the Medical Examiner’s Office as required;
Prepares reports of findings regarding the circumstances of deaths under investigation;
May testify in court proceedings regarding the findings of an investigation or the chain of custody of the body;
May deliver tissues to laboratories for analysis;
Performs other related duties.


Knowledge of the National Institute of Justice’s Guidelines for Death Scene Investigation;
Knowledge of interviewing and investigative techniques;
Knowledge of basic medical terminology and legal processes;
Skill in using multiple software programs, Smartphone applications and digital cameras;
Skill in obtaining and recording factual information regarding the circumstances of death;
Skill in observing and documenting physical conditions and taking photographs at the scene of the death;
Skill in preparing accurate medicolegal reports;
Ability to exercise tact, understanding and good judgment in dealing with the deceased person’s family;
Ability to maintain confidentiality;
Ability to transcribe verbal information into a database while receiving information over the phone.


Education: Associate’s degree in Health Sciences, Police Science, or Forensics.
Experience: One year of experience investigating the circumstances of death at death scene incidents.
Notes: 1. Candidates may substitute experience investigating the circumstances of death at death scene incidents on a year-for-year basis for the required education.
2. Candidates may substitute experience assisting in the autopsies of human corpses on a month-for-month basis for a maximum of six months of the required education.
3. Candidates may substitute one year of experience as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for the required experience.
4. Candidates may substitute college internships, conferences, and seminar education in forensics, death investigation, and trauma of forty (40) hours for an equivalency of three months of the required education, for a maximum of one year.
5. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a non-commissioned officer in Criminal Investigation classifications or Criminal Investigation specialty codes in the Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, and Compliance field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience.


Employees in this classification will be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle.  Employees will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator’s license valid in the State of Maryland.


1. Employees in this classification are subject to call-in 24 hours a day, and  
therefore, will be required to provide the employing agency with a phone number where they can be reached at any time.

2. Employees in this classification are subject to substance abuse testing in 
accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations 17.04.09, Testing for Illegal Use of Drugs.
3. Employees must possess registration as a death scene investigator with the 
American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators within two (2) years of hiring date.  Once certification is received, employees are required to maintain the certification.


1. 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.  

2. This is a skilled service classification in the State Personnel and 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.

3. This classification is assigned to bargaining unit C, Regulatory, Inspection, and License.  As provided by 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.

4. 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 State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 8-305.

Date Established


Approved By

Director, Division of Classification and Salary

CLASS: 005373; EST: 1/1/2016;

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