Forensic Pathology Careers + Salary Basics

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The following page shows the career & education requirements, salary and job outlook for Forensic Pathology around the country.

What We Do

Forensic pathologists are medical doctors who specialize in the legal aspects of pathology. These professionals are also known as medical examiners. Most forensic pathologists will perform autopsies on deceased people, using medical and scientific technology to determine the cause of death for the purpose of an investigation.

Work Environment

Most forensic pathologists will work within laboratory settings typically within a morgue. Most of these medical examiners will be expected to work on a full-time basis, and they are often employed by local governments. Because they are often left to work with dead bodies, there is some risk of exposure to infectious diseases although protective gear, such as masks and gloves are used to reduce that risk. The job can also be emotionally difficult and stressful for some.

How to Become a Forensic Pathology

To be able to enter medical school and then specialize to become a forensic pathologist, an individual has to earn a bachelor’s degree. There is no required major but a good background in the natural sciences is a positive for most schools. During the first two years of the MD course, medical students will spend a lot of their time studying organ systems, anatomy and physiology in a lab. In years three and four, they will spend the majority of their time in clinical rotations. Each rotation will cover a different field of medicine, such as family medicine, pediatrics, neurology, and internal medicine. After completion of the MD degree, further study may be needed to specialize on forensic pathology.

Training & Certification Requirements

Physicians who want to become clinical pathologists will need to obtain their license in accordance with state guidelines. Each state has slightly different procedures, but most will require individuals to pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. Following licensure, clinical pathologists should undergo pathology residency programs that last for up to four years and can include formal lectures alongside hands-on training. What’s more, almost all practicing pathologists will eventually become board certified to show a more professional level of knowledge regarding their specific specialty. The American Board of Pathology offers an opportunity to obtain general certification in AP, CP, or both, and after individuals are certified, they can pursue sub-specialties in forensic pathology. Initial certification within CP or AP will require the meeting of experience and education criteria, as well as the completion of residency programs, obtaining a license to practice medicine, and finishing exams.

Forensic Pathology Related Job Titles

According to Indeed.com, the following career/job titles with salary figures are most closely related to Forensic Pathology.

Career/Job Title Average Salary

Forensic Pathology Earning Potential

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for Pathologists in 2015 was $176,692 per year.

Forensic Pathology Job Outlook

Job growth is expected to be around 18% for all surgeons and physicians, including clinical pathologists.

According to Indeed.com, the average national salary of jobs for Forensic Pathology was $88,000.00 with a high confidence ranking based on over 250 sources. Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide are 52% higher than average salaries for all job postings nationwide.

Forensic Pathology Salary by State

The following lists Forensic Pathology salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings by employers through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $110,000 while Hawaii had the smallest quoted salary of $54,000.

Alaska$65,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 48th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Alaska are 26% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 48th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $65,000 Bar high
.
Alabama$89,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 13th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Alabama are 1% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $89,000 Bar high
.
Arkansas$90,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 12th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Arkansas are 2% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $90,000 Bar high
.
Arizona$72,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 44th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Arizona are 18% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 44th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Coconino County, AZ.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $72,000 Bar high
.
California$94,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 8th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in California are 7% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Los Angeles County Department of Human Resources, County of Ventura, CA, Ventura County, and Venesco.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $94,000 Bar high
.
Colorado$78,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 35th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Colorado are 11% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like City and County of Denver and Lighthouse Recruiting.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $78,000 Bar high
.
Connecticut$101,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 4th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Connecticut are 15% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $101,000 Bar high
.
DC$110,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 1st
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Washington, DC are 25% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Medical Examiner, Ofc Chief, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), Dept of Health, and Tri-Force Consulting Services, Inc..
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $110,000 Bar high
.
Delaware$77,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 38th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Delaware are 12% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like American Registry of Pathology.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $77,000 Bar high
.
Florida$82,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 27th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Florida are 7% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like County of Volusia, Vaco, and City of Jacksonville, FL.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $82,000 Bar high
.
Georgia$100,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 5th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Georgia are 14% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Northside Hospital, CryoLife, Fulton County, and Fulton County, GA.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $100,000 Bar high
.
Hawaii$54,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 51st
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Hawaii are 38% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 51st among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $54,000 Bar high
.
Iowa$86,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 18th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Iowa are 2% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $86,000 Bar high
.
Idaho$58,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 50th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Idaho are 34% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 50th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $58,000 Bar high
.
Illinois$100,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 6th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Illinois are 13% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Lab Director Recruitment and Cook County Offices Under the President.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $100,000 Bar high
.
Indiana$84,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 23rd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Indiana are 4% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $84,000 Bar high
.
Kansas$80,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 30th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Kansas are 9% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Quest Diagnostics.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $80,000 Bar high
.
Kentucky$76,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 41st
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Kentucky are 14% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $76,000 Bar high
.
Louisiana$79,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 32nd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Louisiana are 11% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Lighthouse Recruiting.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $79,000 Bar high
.
Massachusetts$106,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 2nd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Massachusetts are 20% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Hebrew SeniorLife and US Laboratories.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $106,000 Bar high
.
Maryland$91,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 11th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Maryland are 3% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like State of Maryland and W. L. Gore & Associates.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $91,000 Bar high
.
Maine$78,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 36th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Maine are 12% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $78,000 Bar high
.
Michigan$89,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 14th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Michigan are 1% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Sparrow Health System, and Oakland County Michigan.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $89,000 Bar high
.
Minnesota$77,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 39th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Minnesota are 13% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Sanford Health – North.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $77,000 Bar high
.
Missouri$86,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 19th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Missouri are 2% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $86,000 Bar high
.
Mississippi$92,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 9th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Mississippi are 5% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like State of Mississippi and Mississippi State Personnel Board.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $92,000 Bar high
.
Montana$73,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 43rd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Montana are 17% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 43rd among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $73,000 Bar high
.
North Carolina$84,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 24th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in North Carolina are 5% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like East Carolina University, LabCorp, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina Office of State Human Resources.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $84,000 Bar high
.
North Dakota$78,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 37th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in North Dakota are 11% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $78,000 Bar high
.
Nebraska$64,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 49th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Nebraska are 27% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 49th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $64,000 Bar high
.
New Hampshire$87,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 16th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in New Hampshire are 1% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $87,000 Bar high
.
New Jersey$95,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 7th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in New Jersey are 8% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like LabCorp.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $95,000 Bar high
.
New Mexico$77,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 40th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in New Mexico are 13% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $77,000 Bar high
.
Nevada$67,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 46th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Nevada are 24% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 46th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Clark County, NV.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $67,000 Bar high
.
New York$106,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 3rd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in New York State are 21% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Lighthouse Recruiting, REFUAH HEALTH CENTER, and DEPT OF HEALTH/MENTAL HYGIENE.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $106,000 Bar high
.
Ohio$84,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 25th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Ohio are 4% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like ProMedica and Cejka Search.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $84,000 Bar high
.
Oklahoma$81,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 29th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Oklahoma are 8% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Venesco LLC and Oklahoma State University.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $81,000 Bar high
.
Oregon$85,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 20th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Oregon are 3% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $85,000 Bar high
.
Pennsylvania$85,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 21st
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Pennsylvania are 4% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Reading Health System.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $85,000 Bar high
.
Rhode Island$80,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 31st
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Rhode Island are 9% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $80,000 Bar high
.
South Carolina$87,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 17th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in South Carolina are 1% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $87,000 Bar high
.
South Dakota$66,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 47th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in South Dakota are 25% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 47th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $66,000 Bar high
.
Tennessee$82,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 28th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Tennessee are 7% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $82,000 Bar high
.
Texas$85,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 22nd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Texas are 3% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like LabCorp, Denton County, TX, Lighthouse Recruiting, and The University of Texas Medical Branch.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $85,000 Bar high
.
Utah$68,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 45th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Utah are 22% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 45th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like State of Utah.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $68,000 Bar high
.
Virginia$89,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 15th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Virginia are 1% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like Lighthouse Recruiting, Northern VA Community College, Dept of Health, and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $89,000 Bar high
.
Vermont$78,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 33rd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Vermont are 12% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $78,000 Bar high
.
Washington$91,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 10th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Washington State are 3% higher than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $91,000 Bar high
.
Wisconsin$78,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 34th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Wisconsin are 11% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country.
There were also job openings from employers like University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $78,000 Bar high
.
West Virginia$83,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 26th
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in West Virginia are 6% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $83,000 Bar high
.
Wyoming$73,000
(High Confidence (more than 250 sources))
Rank: 42nd
Average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings in Wyoming are 17% lower than average Forensic Pathology salaries for job postings nationwide. The average salary ranks 42nd among states in the country.
There were no current job openings from employers in this state.
In USD as of September 1, 2016 60k 120k 180k
Forensic Pathology $73,000 Bar high
.

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