Deputy Coroner

US Government, Sheriff/Coroner




Incumbents will be periodically rotated through assignments, shifts, including nights, weekends and holidays. 

This recruitment is open to the public.  

Salary may be negotiable within the range listed above, based on position requirements and successful candidate’s qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization.

This recruitment is being held to establish an Open Eligible List to fill current and future Deputy Coroner vacancies until the next recruitment.

The Coroner Division is an investigative unit responsible for carrying out the statutory duties of the Coroner. Those duties include investigation into the circumstances surrounding all deaths falling within the Sheriff-Coroner’s jurisdiction for the purpose of determining the identity of the deceased, the medical cause of death, the manner of death, and the date and time of death. Medico-legal death investigations are conducted countywide on all homicides, suicides, accidents, suspicious and unexplained deaths. Other duties include notifying the next of kin, safeguarding personal property, collection of evidence, and completion of mandatory records and documents. The Division is also proactive in the community, participating in programs geared towards preventing drunk driving and drug use; identifying consumer products causing fatal injury; domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse; and providing educational services for medical, legal and law enforcement professionals. Other contributions to the community include cooperative relationships with non-profit organ and tissue procurement agencies to enhance the quality of life and save lives. The Division also collaborates with research organizations pursuing medical science advancements.

General Duties:
Conduct medico-legal death investigations of all sudden, violent, and unexpected deaths that occur within the County of Orange in order to determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of death, and the identity of decedents coming under the Sheriff-Coroner’s jurisdiction; order autopsies performed by professional staff; and do other work as required.

The ideal candidate will possess basic software computer skills such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, Internet Explorer. Candidate will have a strong understanding and knowledge of anatomy and physiology; possess leadership qualities, effective communication skills; have strong organization and excellent time management skills; be flexible and have the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

here to view the class spec/job description.

General Knowledge of:

  • Investigative principles and techniques
  • Techniques of investigative interviewing
  • Use of scientific investigative equipment
  • Laws and rules of evidence
  • Laws pertaining to death and dead bodies
  • Criminal, civil, and probate laws
  • Physiology, anatomy, medical terminology, and techniques used in general medicine or criminal or coroner’s investigations

Some Knowledge of:

  • Medicine and its subspecialties and techniques
  • Methods of recognition, collection, preservation, and analysis of medico-legal and/or criminal evidence
  • Prescribed drugs, both generic and name brands, poisons, and other toxic elements and compounds

Ability to: 

  • Analyze situations and take effective action
  • Work effectively under unpleasant conditions
  • Communicate effectively with attorneys, medical doctors, law enforcement officers, and distraught persons
  • Prepare clear, concise reports and correspondence
  • Answer questions of law pertaining to death and dead bodies
  • Converse with professional medical personnel on a technical level

Education and Experience: 

Option I 

One year as an investigator with a city, county, state, military, or federal law enforcement agency, Coroner Department, or Medical Examiner’s Office OR  two years as an investigator for a nongovernment entity conducting medico-legal investigations.

Option II 

Two years in the Orange County class of Forensic Assistant, Forensic Specialist, or Forensic Scientist OR two years in a science or paramedical field such as Autopsy Technician, Registered Nurse, Paramedic, Police Evidence Technician, Criminalist, or any other medical/science related experience which demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and abilities listed.

Option III 

Possession of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university in Criminal Justice, Biology, Nursing, Forensic Science, Mortuary Science, or other related subject to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Option IV 

Possession of an Associate Degree from an accredited college in Criminal Justice, Biology, Nursing, Paramedic Science, or Mortuary Science combined with some experience as a Reserve Peace Officer, Coroner’s Volunteer, Forensic Assistant, Orange County Sheriff’s Special Officer, Mortician, Licensed Embalmer, Emergency Medical Technician I, Reserve Firefighter, or other related experience.

License Required:
Possession of a valid California Driver License by date of appointment.

Requirements for Deputy Coroner per California Government Code Section 1031:

  • Must not have been convicted of a felony
  • Must pass a background investigation to the satisfaction of the Sheriff-Coroner
  • Must be at least 20 years of age by date of appointment
  • Be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition which might adversely affect exercise of Deputy Coroner powers, as determined by a license examining authority
  • United States citizenship or qualify under provisions of California Government Code Section 1031.5
  • Graduation from high school or attainment of a satisfactory score on a G.E.D. test or California High School Proficiency exam

Incumbent will be required to successfully complete a Penal Code 832 (Arrest and Firearms) course and the Coroner’s Death Investigation course within one year of date of hire, and must qualify for a specialized Basic Post Certificate within the first year of employment.
Applicants must not have been convicted of a felony or be on any form of probation and must pass an extensive background investigation to the satisfaction of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner.  
Background screening includes completing of a Personal History Form, interview with a background investigator, fingerprinting and may include a polygraph test. Some of the areas considered in the background screening include prior convictions, traffic violations, drug use and credit problems, employment history, professional references and education verification (i.e.. degree, license, or official transcripts).


The County of Orange is committed to providing a means for applicants who may have a disability to identify areas in which they may request a reasonable accommodation. The following is a description of the physical and mental abilities which are customarily required to perform the essential job functions of this position. Applicants are encouraged to contact the recruiter listed for any questions or to request an accommodation during the testing/selection process.

Physical and Mental Requirements:

Sufficient vision to distinguish colors and utilize field equipment. Ability to hear well enough to communicate and take direction. Ability to independently reason and analyze data, and to reach objective conclusions. Ability to work under stressful conditions, deadlines, and competing priorities. May be required to lift over 50 pounds.

Environmental and Working Conditions:
Standard office environment in a morgue setting plus field work. Field work may be subject to inclement weather conditions, varying terrain and/or uneven surfaces, heights, and confined spaces. May be exposed to biological agents, chemical agents, fumes, blood and other bodily fluids, offensive odors, contagious diseases, firearms, and pepper spray. May be required to drive a County vehicle. Use of standard office equipment.
Human Resources |Minimum Qualifications

Sheriff Human Resources screens all applications to identify the most qualified candidates for the position based on the skills required to meet the needs of the Department. After the initial screening, the qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.

Applications must emphasize all the areas in which the applicant has expertise and accomplishments in the specific competencies related to the position.
Application Appraisal Panel |Application Rating  (Refer/Non-Refer): An Application Appraisal Panel (AAP) of job knowledge experts will thoroughly screen all application materials and rate for job knowledge, competencies and related experience described above. The more qualified candidates will be referred to the next step. (The information you provide will be used as a scoring device, so please be descriptive in your response. “See Resume” is not a qualifying response and will not be scored in lieu of the required information.) 

Structured Oral Interview | SOI (Weighted 100%): Candidates will be interviewed and rated by a panel of job knowledge experts. Each candidate’s rating will be based on responses to a series of questions designed to elicit the candidate’s qualifications for the job. Only the most successful candidates will be placed on the eligible list.

Based on the Department’s needs, the selection procedures listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.
After all procedures have been completed, the Sheriff Human Resources will establish an eligible list of qualified candidates.

Veterans Employment Preference
The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click 
here to review the policy.


Only on-line applications will be accepted. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of on-line applications. Application information must be current, succinct and related to the requirements in this job announcement. Your application should demonstrate your professional experience and education related to the specific qualifications/duties listed in this bulletin, including areas which you have developed expertise.

Click here for tips to complete your application.

For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, contact Mary Cortez-Valadez at (714) 834-5834 or email at



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