Autopsy technicians assist the medical examiner in conducting an autopsy and determining the cause of death. They weigh samples, collect fluids, record measurements, assist in filling out the forms, and sometimes talk with the family of the deceased. If you're interested in biology, chemistry and anatomy, and like solving mysteries, then you might be interested in becoming an autopsy technician. Follow the steps below to become an autopsy technician.
- Finish high school. Autopsy technicians must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.
- Attend a four-year college and study biology, chemistry, and forensic sciences. Although many forensic scientists continue their education and earn a master's degree, a bachelor's degree in a physical or applied science is the minimum requirement for becoming an autopsy technician [ASCLS]. Some states only require autopsy technicians to have a two-year associate's degree [Iowa].
- Look for a job. Some states require up to one year of experience working full time in a hospital or for an emergency medical service before you qualify to become an autopsy technician. [Iowa]
- Obtain a valid driver's license. Some states require autopsy technicians to have a valid driver's license issued by that state. [Iowa, Washington]
- Research your state's licensing requirements. Licensing requirements differ from state to state.
- Keep current. Whether or not your state requires some sort of continuing education, continuing to take courses related to your field will help you advance professionally.