Becoming A Forensic Pathologist
Job Description, Salary & Schools

A forensic pathologist job description isn't exhilarating, but the salary sure is! Learn how to begin a career in forensic pathology & what the best schools are.

If you really want a career in forensics, you have to meet a rigorous schedule of requirements and qualifications. If you can brave through the many years of schooling and training, however, the rewards are great.

What are the rewards, you ask?

  • 6 figure salary
  • Job security
  • Feeling of self-satisfaction as you're helping bring justice to bad guys

Forensic Pathologist Job Description

forensic pathologist with microscope

A Forensic Pathologist Studies Evidence Through a Microscope

The technical job description states that this position aids other agents in their pursuit of justice by determining if a victim died of unnatural or natural causes.

If you choose this career path, your day-to-day work consists of performing autopsies and running lab tests to make determine the cause of death.

Oftentimes, it's found that a death was natural. Then again, there will be many times when, with an unnatural death, you will be tasked with the job of figuring out just what caused the victim to expire.

It certainly isn't an easy job, but if you find that it is suited to your particular talents, interests, and abilities, you will have the added benefit of a great yearly salary.

Below we'll walk you through the duties of pathologists, what it takes to become one, and what you can expect to your salary to be.

If you have the strength, courage, and determination to get through the requirements to become one, you will experience a world in which you are not just making a healthy living, but are also working to make a difference.

To bring peace to victims' families and justice to criminals.

Forensic Pathology Schools

When you are searching for school that offer a forensic pathology degree, there are a number of factors to keep in mind.

The biggest factor, though, is cost.

students studying forensic science

Students Studying Forensic Science

In order to begin a career in forensic pathology you will need:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • A doctor of medicine (M.D.) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O)
  • A residency with a program that offers a rotation in forensic pathology

The residency will last from four to five years and there is no getting around having to attend a campus-based institution for medical school--but you have several options when it comes to obtaining a bachelor's degree.

The traditional route, of course, is to spend four years at a university, living in a dormitory, and eating from the cafeteria.

But this can prove to be horrendously expensive (especially when you think of the additional schooling and training you'll need to pay for), taking into account tuition, room and board, and other special fees.

And if you're an adult with a family, this route is impossible. Don't worry though--you have another option.

Online schooling.

We know, you're skeptical about the validity of getting a degree online. But we're sure that the more you research it, the more it will seem like a really fantastic idea.

Employers don't turn their noses up at web-earned degrees, as you might think. And while you're taking classes, you can stay with your family in your home, keep your day job, and create your own schedule.

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

And, most importantly perhaps, you can save a ton of money that will be better used for your post-graduate education.

Here are a list of great universities and colleges you may want to check out if online schooling appeals to you:

  • Argosy University
  • American InterContinental University
  • Kaplan University
  • Rasmussen College
  • University of Phoenix

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

Salaries of Forensic Pathologist

If you enter a career in forensic pathology, you can expect to be compensated well for your trials (as in a 6 figure salary).

However, the job itself is demanding, requiring a vast knowledge of the human anatomy. And, as we've already discussed, the rigors of getting your education and training can be incredibly difficult to overcome.

But if you have the determination and perseverance, you can earn quite a living in this line of criminal justice.

The average salary for this career is upwards of $100,000 per year. And if you are in a senior position, depending on your record and abilities, you can earn well over that amount.

Forensic Pathology Career

We've already discussed in fairly great detail just how difficult it is to officially enter this field. We've also covered the many and great rewards you will reap once you've joined the pathology ranks.

But exactly does forensic pathology entail?

forensic scientist handles blood sample

This is someone with an extensive education, being trained in human anatomy and forensics, who aids an investigation by determining the cause of death of a corpse.

By examining the deceased, the story of what happened to whom, how, and where can begin to unfold.

It is at the request of a coroner or medical examiner that the pathologist performs an autopsy. But what is he or she looking for?

This job requires looking to determine whether someone's death was:

  • Homicide
  • Accidental
  • Natural
  • Suicide
  • Or Undetermined

In order to determine the cause of death, the following actions are performed:

  • Examine and document wounds and injuries
  • Study and interpret tissue samples
  • Collect and analyze the body's tissues and fluid
  • Determine the identity of a victim
  • And serve as expert witnesses in courts of law

The work in this field is hard, the hours long, and the responsibilities numerous, but the job is an incredibly important one.

By working in forensic pathology, you are not just making a living; you are making a real difference.

The investigation of death is different depending on where in the world you're working. This is also true of the many qualifications and requirements of becoming a pathologist.

In the United States, forensic pathology was first recognized by the American Board of Pathology in 1959. In Canada, however, the profession was fully and officially recognized until 2003.

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