Medical Examiner Salary

The average salary of medical examiner in US is $55,360.

A medical examiner’s job is to determine the cause of death when a seemingly healthy person passes away. Considered a type of forensic technician, a medical examiner’s salary will vary greatly depending on location and experience.

Median Medical examiner Salary

  • $55,360 per year
  • $28.81 per hour

The median salary for a medical examiner, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $55,360 per year, which equates to $28.81 per hour. The median salary is not the mean, or average, but rather the mid-point of all salary data.

Salary range for middle 50% of medical examiners

  • $41,900 – $72,230
  • $20.15 – $34.72 per hour

To determine an accurate salary range for medical examiners, the top and bottom 25% of earners must be eliminated from the equation. These individuals only represent a small percentage of workers in this field, and their extreme difference in salaries skews the data. When these individuals are removed, you are left with a more accurate salary range of $41,900 and $72,230 per year (or $20.15 – $34.72 per hour).

Lowest and highest salary

  • Lowest – $33,610 ($16.16/hour)
  • Highest – $91,400 ($43.94/hour)

The highest and lowest earners in the field are rarities. Those earning the lowest salaries typically have less than one year of experience in the field, or work in a lower-paying area. On the other hand, those with the highest salaries likely have decades of experience, or work in high-paying, high-demand areas. In this field, the lowest salary is $33,610 ($16.16 per hour) and the highest salary is $91,400 ($43.94 per hour).

The total salary package

A medical examiner’s base salary may be $55,360, but he or she will receive additional compensation from bonuses and benefits. Things like health insurance, 401K, pension, Social Security, disability and vacation time all hold monetary value, and add to the total salary package.

In the case of a medical examiner, the total salary package is somewhere around $69,200 per year.

Cities with the highest paying Medical examiners

  • Medical examiners in San Francisco, CA earn $89,160.
  • Medical examiners in Los Angeles, CA are paid $81,550.
  • Medical examiners in Chicago, IL earn $81,530.
  • Medical examiners in Oakland, CA earn $80,210.
  • Medical examiners in Santa Ana, CA earn $77,510.

States with the highest paying medical examiners

  • Illinois at $82,210
  • District of Columbia at $78,090
  • California at $74,880
  • Nevada at $70,300
  • Massachusetts at $69,040

Factors affecting medical examiner salaries

A large percentage of medical examiners work for either the local, state or federal government. For this reason, yearly salaries vary greatly from one location to the next. One city may pay medical examiners an exceptionally high salary, while others will offer a salary that’s closer to the national median. Demand will be a major salary factor in this field. Experience and industry will also play a role in salary.

Not surprisingly, the top paying industries for medical examiners are:

  • Federal government
  • Scientific consulting services
  • State government
  • Medical/diagnostic laboratories
  • Local government

The federal government pays the highest salary, with an annual mean wage of $96,680. State and local governments offer salaries that are close to the median range at $58,880 and $57,800 respectively.

Training and certification requirements for medical examiners

Medical examiners are typically doctors with specialized training. They use a variety of sciences to gather data from autopsies and determine a person’s probable cause of death. More often than not, medical examiners work with law enforcement to help solve crimes.

A bachelor’s degree in the natural science field is required to enter this field, and most will also have to earn an M.D. degree. However, some jurisdictions do not require medical training to become an examiner.

Experts recommend the following educational path when pursuing a career as a medical examiner:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a natural science field
  • Medical school
  • 3-4 residency
  • Medical licensing
  • Specialty certification

The education and training path is extensive, and the medical examiner field is growing at a slow pace, with a projected growth rate of 5% between 2012 and 2022. However, those who have many years of experience and work in the right city will be rewarded with a high salary.

International medical examiner salaries

Medical examiners earn £16,440 – £38,211 per annum in the United Kingdom.

Medical examiners earn CAD$34,755 – CAD$69,900 per annum in Canada.

Medical examiners earn AU$50,780 – AU$116,350 per annum in Australia.

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