Washington Association of
Coroners and Medical Examiners
"In Forensics We Trust"

Coroner or Medical Examiner?

  • Coroners and medical examiners have the same exact legal authority, duties and responsibilities. 

  • Coroners are elected. They are trained as forensic death investigators and are the administrators for their offices.  Autopsies and medical expertise are provided by board certified forensic pathologists.

  • Medical examiners are appointed. They are trained in forensic pathology. They employ forensic death investigators and administrative staff to run their offices.
    • Coroner budget range $6,000-$1 million
    • M.E. budget range $500,000-$4.4 million
      • Coroner salary range $36,000-$105,000
      • M.E. salary range $196,000-$230,000

  • Coroners and medical examiners use the same forensic death scene investigation processes,  forensic autopsies, toxicological testing and decedent histories to determine the cause and manner of death.


  • Coroners and medical examiners utilize the same investigative, scientific, and administrative protocols, resulting in the same consistent, professional and high quality death investigations.  


Every scene, every time