Coroners look into deaths from unnatural or unknown causes, or those that have happened suddenly or in prison or police custody.
Salary range: £85,000 to £115,000
How to become a coroner
You can get into this job through:
- applying directly
You’ll usually start as an assistant coroner.
You should be either:
- a qualified barrister or solicitor
- a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives with at least 5 years’ qualified experience.
Local authorities appoint coroners and assistant coroners, with the consent of the Chief Coroner and the Lord Chancellor.
A few coroners have qualifications in both law and medicine.
You can find out more about becoming a coroner from the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- knowledge of English language
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of medicine and dentistry
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
In this role you could be
- deciding the cause of death by analysing all the available information
- talking to other professionals involved, like the deceased’s doctor
- ordering a post-mortem examination if there are questions around the cause of death
- holding an inquest into the death if you believe one is needed
- notifying the registrar about the death, and results of any inquest
- dealing with upset relatives
- writing reports and recommendations to prevent future deaths
You could work in an office, in a court or in an NHS or private hospital.
Career path and progression
With experience, you can apply for the position of senior coroner, with chief coroner the most senior position.
You can also apply to become a course director with the Judicial College.