A forensic autopsy technician assists a forensic pathologist before, during and after autopsies. While clerical duties are required, other responsibilities include maintenance of the equipment, facility and supplies needed for autopsies as well as caring for and handling bodies in a hospital or mortuary setting. The technician must sometimes deal with exposure to severely traumatized deceased persons, toxic chemicals and various biohazards from many diseases. Evidence-handling and security are issues in autopsies when criminal investigation is involved.
Average Monthly Salary
The average salary for an autopsy technician salary is $4,000 to $5,000 per month, states Inside Prison website. Another source, the Agency Government Jobs website, states that the average monthly salary for autopsy technicians with at least one year of experience or formal training in the care and handling of bodies in a hospital or mortuary was $4,246.67 to $5,163.17 per month.
Average Annual Salaries
According to Agency Government Jobs website, an autopsy technician in San Francisco earns $50,960 to $61,958 per year. This salary is for a forensic autopsy technician with at least one year experience or formal training in the care and handling of bodies in a hospital or mortuary. Kay Circle website states that the average annual salary for a forensic autopsy technician in 2010 was $57,000 per year plus a full benefits package including medical and dental insurance. Schools in the USA website states the average annual salary of a forensic autopsy technician as $41,038.
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The highest salaries for forensic autopsy technicians are earned by those with a bachelor's degree or higher and those with experience specific to autopsies and forensic science. Since salary expectations increase with education, forensic autopsy technicians must earn at least an associate degree in clinical laboratory science. But some earn bachelor's or even master's degrees in forensic science. Forensic autopsy technicians with over seven years of experience can expect to make $100,000 per year, according to Kay Circle website.
Experienced forensic autopsy technicians work their way into more responsible positions, assisting with more advanced autopsy and dissection procedures than beginning technicians. If you couple this experience with additional education, the forensic autopsy technician has the opportunity to become a member of management, a pathologist, a quality control technician, a teacher of autopsy and dissection in technical institutes, a mortician or a technical writer.