Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$38.60-$48.84 hourly / $6,691.00-$8,465.00 monthly / $80,288.00-$101,587.20 yearly

Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$42.47-$53.72 hourly / $7,361.00-$9,311.00 monthly / $88,337.60-$111,737.60 yearly


Under general supervision, conducts investigations to identify deaths that fall under the jurisdiction of the Coroner’s Office and to determine the cause and manner of deaths; determines the identification of the deceased and notifies the next of kin; collects and preserves forensic evidence; collects and reviews medical records; safeguards the personal effects of the decedent; prepares and submits reports on the death investigation to the Forensic Pathologist;  works closely with all agencies concerned with the decedents death; and performs other related duties as assigned.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions in this series are peace officers under Penal Code Section 830.35, Paragraph C, in the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office.  These classes are distinguished from other peace officers in the Sheriff’s Office in that persons in these classes are not sworn and do not carry firearms.

Sheriff-Coroner Investigator I: is the entry level classification in the Coroner Investigator job series. Incumbents receive a substantial amount of on-the-job training by working closely with senior staff member(s) and are expected to progressively perform investigative work in a more independent manner.


Sheriff-Coroner Investigator II: is the journey level classification in the Coroner Investigator job series. Incumbents independently perform the duties of the Sheriff-Coroner Investigator with limited supervision.  Incumbents also provide technical direction to the Sheriff-Coroner Investigator I .


Typical Tasks

  • Conducts investigations into the cause, manner, and circumstances of death, and works closely with the Forensic Pathologist to make these determinations;
  • Responds to calls from law enforcement agencies, hospitals, or private citizens concerning unattended or traumatic deaths, and authorizes removal of bodies from death scenes;
  • Interviews witnesses, medical professionals, peace officers, and family members to obtain facts concerning deaths;
  • Consults with physicians, hospitals, and other medical personnel, and obtains and reviews medical records to identify medical history pertinent to the investigation;
  • Takes scene photographs;
  • Takes charge of body, personal property and forensic evidence found at death scenes and maintains chain of evidence;
  • Makes positive identification of decedents; may take fingerprints for identification purposes;
  • Locates and personally notifies decedent’s next of kin, providing information regarding the death and Coroner’s Unit procedures while obtaining background information for the investigation;
  • Reports findings to the Sheriff Coroner Supervisor and/or Forensic Pathologist;
  • Discusses findings with District Attorney’s Office where criminal prosecution is indicated; appears as a witness in criminal and civil proceedings and at industrial accident boards to testify to facts gathered during investigation;
  • Investigates requests for indigent disposition;
  • Prepares written case reports of the investigation; maintains required records;
  • Ensures accurate completion of the Death Certificate, including attestation with the State of California Electronic Death Registry System;
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Employment Standards


Sheriff’s Coroner Investigator I

Some knowledge of:

  • Basic anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology.
  • California Penal Code, Government Code, Health and Safety Code, and Welfare and Institutions Code relating to the function, jurisdiction and authority of the Coroner's Office.
  • Principles and techniques of death investigations including interviewing methods and techniques.
  • Rules of evidence regarding chain of custody and methods to preserve and safeguard evidence.
  • Office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, email, and databases.

Sheriff’s Coroner Investigator II

Working knowledge of:

  • All of the above.
  • Recent developments, current technology, and trends in the profession.

Ability to:

Sheriff’s Coroner Investigator I & II

  • Work closely with Forensic Pathologist when investigating cause, manner, and circumstances of unattended or traumatic deaths.
  • Read and understand medical charts.
  • Maintain professionalism in tragic and emotional situations.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships.
  • Create accurate and comprehensive reports of the findings of a death investigation.
  • Gather, analyze, correlate, and preserve forensic evidence.
  • Testify in court.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Work alone and independently.
  • Use critical thinking skills in problem solving.
  • Perform strenuous physical activities including lifting and moving dead bodies.

Education and Experience/Training:


Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


Graduation from High School or G.E.D certificate and a minimum of an associate degree in forensic science, criminal justice, nursing, or other related fields.


Sheriff-Coroner Investigator I

  • One year of experience in a medical, nursing, or investigative field.
  • Successful completion of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Coroner's Death Investigation Course and PC 832 Arrest Course, within twelve months of appointment. 
  • Successful passage of the Registry Certification (Basic) examination from the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), must be completed within two years of appointment. 

Sheriff-Coroner Investigator II

  • Two years of experience in investigations at a Coroner’s or Medical Examiner’s Office.
  • Possession of a valid ABMDI Registration Certificate.
  • Successful completion of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Coroner's Death Investigation Course and PC 832 Arrest Course, within six months of appointment.
  • Successful passage of the Board Certification (Advanced) examination from ABMDI, must be completed within twelve months of appointment.


  • Possession of a valid ABMDI Board Certification.


  • Capable of performing all the classification’s essential functions, as summarized in the typical tasks section of this job specification with or without reasonable accommodations.
  • Tasks require the ability to manipulate/maneuver up to 100 pounds of body weight, often combined with bending, twisting, or working on irregular surfaces; typically involves some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling; occasionally requires hiking in mountainous terrain while carrying equipment.
  • Sensory Requirements: Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, forms, textures, or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks, or people; occasionally requires ability to differentiate sounds and odors.
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to variable temperatures, confined workspaces, and heights; strong unpleasant odors; infectious bio-hazardous materials, such as blood, urine, and semen, which might cause chronic disease or death; dust, pollens, chemical irritants; toxic substances; individuals who may be hostile and abusive; evidence that may be disturbing, such as homicide evidence.
  • Hours: May be required to work flexible hours, shifts, weekends, and holidays and be subject to holdover and callback duty; and to provide a telephone number or means by which employee can be reached.
  • License Requirement: Possession and maintenance of valid Class C California Driver License issued by the California State Department of Motor Vehicles by the time of appointment.
  • Background Investigation: Ability to pass a full background investigation.

    CLASS: RA1; EST: 10/1/2020;
    CLASS: RA2; EST: 10/1/2020;