Forensic Autopsy Technician

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Mechanic/Technician
Posted on November 24, 2021
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*Multiple Vacancies *

Public Health Seattle and King County is looking for people who are interested in becoming Forensic Autopsy Technicians with the Medical Examiner's Office. Autopsy Technicians work with Forensic Pathologists to help them determine cause and manner of death. Techs conduct evisceration, photography, X-ray and other activities.

As the only jurisdiction in the world named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant international community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the traditions of many cultures.
We have a deep commitment to equity and social justice and advancing practices, strategies, and policies that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity for all – in our workplaces and our communities. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda to advance regional change and ensure that residents from vulnerable communities are incorporated into our emergency planning and public outreach efforts.
 To learn more, please visit   

Job Duties

  • Assist pathologists in opening, eviscerating and closing bodies and collecting toxicological samples during autopsies. 
  • Perform photographic documentation of bodies, wounds and associated evidentiary aspects of the case. 
  • Operate and maintain photographic equipment, including rolling bulk film and duplicating slides. 
  • Clean and prepare bodies for autopsy and subsequent release to funeral homes. 
  • Collect and maintain evidence from autopsy to release to appropriate investigating agency. 
  • Perform custodial maintenance for autopsy room, storage areas and coolers, and arrange decedents.
  • Wash and dry laundry used in autopsies. 
  • Order and inventory supplies and materials. 
  • Take full body, dental and fluoroscopy X-rays and determine X-ray placement and composition. 
  • Wash and bag sample tissue and store for future reference by pathologist. Take toxicology and histology samples to external laboratories for processing and label and distribute slides to pathologist. 
  • Perform data entry tasks and prepare paperwork for autopsies. 
  • Assist or perform procedures as indicated for identification of remains. 
  • Assist in field investigations as needed.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology 
  • Knowledge of trace evidence and chain of custody 
  • Knowledge of basic firearm safety 
  • Skill in time management, organization and attention to detail 
  • Skill in problem solving 
  • Skill in working independently, prioritizing own work and meeting deadlines 
  • Skill in handling a number of tasks simultaneously 
  • Skill in following written directions and protocols 
  • Skill in dealing with death and with human remains in various stages of decomposition, disease and trauma 
  • Skill in handling the psychological effect of death for a spectrum of individuals in the community 
  • Skill in treating human remains with sensitivity and respect 
  • Skill in maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of information 
  • Skill in handling stress associated with work duties 
  • Skill in handling crisis and emergency situations 
  • Ability to take direction and work independently with a high degree of responsibility 
  • Knowledge of skeletal biology, including individual bone identification 
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail 
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding forensic cases  
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Knowledge in operating standard office equipment 
  • Ability to deal with death and trauma on an ongoing and daily basis, with the ability to handle and process human remains in all stages of decomposition.

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.
As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:
• submit proof of vaccination or
• have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.
People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor’s Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Executive Office. King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer.


If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.

Who May Apply: This position is open to all qualified applicants. We are currently recruiting for two Career Service positions and up to two Term-limited Temporary or Special Duty Assignments in the next 6 months. King County career service and term-limited temporary employees will be given additional consideration in the hiring process.
Work Schedule: These positions will work from 6am to 2:30pm on a schedule of either Tuesday through Saturday, or Monday through Friday. Some technicians work 5:30am until 2pm. Schedules may rotate.
Work Location: These positions will be based at Harborview Medical Center, Medical Examiner's Office located at 908 Jefferson St. Seattle WA 98104.
Application Process: The following completed items are required to be considered for this vacancy:
  • NEOGOV/Government Jobs on-line or paper application
  • Supplemental Questions with complete, thorough answers. Answers that say "see resume" will be considered incomplete.
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the standard information in the application. If you reference "see resume" on your application it will be considered incomplete. You must completely fill out the application with your relevant education and work experience. The selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, interviewing, and testing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to
Contact: For more information about the application process, please contact Debbie Baker

Necessary Additional Information
  • KCMEO staff are considered Mission Critical employees, and our office continues to operate at full capacity in inclement weather, public health emergencies, etc.
  • These positions are not eligible for remote work.
  • Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities and working hours.
  • The selected candidate will be required to pass a background investigation.
  • The selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment physical
  • Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law. 
  • Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing their mandatory trainings on time.
 Union Affiliation:
 This position is represented by WSCCCE L1652- Medical Examiner

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Do you have demonstrated knowledge of skeletal biology, individual bone identification, medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to the previous question, please describe how you gained the knowledge in each of the specific categories listed in Question 1 above. If you answered no put n/a.
Do you have experience observing or assisting with forensic medical examination and autopsies?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to the previous question, describe your knowledge and/or work experience in assisting with forensic medical examinations and autopsies. Include where you gained your experience, your role and level of responsibility. If you answered no put n/a.
Have you ever held a position in which you had responsibility for evidence, property, case documentation, confidential material, and/or human remains?
  • Yes
  • No
This position handles evidence, case work, human remains and other confidential material. Please describe your experience in maintaining the privacy and security of sensitive and confidential material.
Do you have the ability to safely maneuver, to chest height, bodies weighing an average of 175 pounds unassisted? (Lifting ability will be tested in a pre-employment physical)
  • Yes
  • No
This position requires long hours of standing. Do you have the ability to stand for long periods of time?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you applying to this position as an eligible Current or Previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant AND Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff AND Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff

Required Question