Forensic Pathology Career and Salary Outlook

Forensic pathology is a healthcare job that determines cause of death and assist in specimen retrieval. This job becomes vital to the postmortem medical field, since this position reveal the reasons, time and manner of death.

Therefore, the main jobs of pathology forensic are:

  • Studies the medical history
  • Evaluates crime scene evidence including witness statements
  • Performs an autopsy to uncover evidence of injury or disease
  • Collects medical and trace evidence from the body for further analysis

Besides having a good knowledge of anatomy, the forensic pathologist should also master some specialized knowledge, such as follows:

  • Toxicology
  • Firearms/ballistics
  • Trace evidence
  • Serology (blood analysis)
  • DNA technology

To become a forensic pathologist, you need to take at least 13 years of education and training after high school. But before that, you need to make sure that you have a strong mentality. This is because you will be exposed with gruesome, smelly and disgusting job.

Furthermore, you will defend your conclusions in the face of opposition from lawyers, the media and even the victims’ families. So, having good courage and confidence is also necessary.

Working Conditions

As a forensic pathologist, you will stand for long period and work with small tools. In fact, a typical workday can last 10 to 12 hours or longer. Most of the time, you will stay in the lab performing autopsy or examining tissue samples under the microscope. Typically some forensic pathologist work for the city, country or federal government. But, some others work in hospitals, medical schools or with contracts autopsy services to government agencies.

Salary Outlook

This job is one of the most lucrative medical jobs, as it offers a tempting salary. A forensic pathologist in Australia can earn AU$68,000-AU$95,000 per year. The variety of salary amounts depend on experience and skills. The better your analysis and evidence, the higher salary you can make.


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