Forensic Pathologist Salary

Forensic pathologists employed in the United States typically earn salaries in the range from $75,000 to $200,000 a year. Most of these professionals make between $80,000 and $120,000 annually according to the salary information reported by ForensicPathologist.com.

Private forensic pathologists can earn a significantly higher annual pay, but they also usually have a considerably bigger workload and more job responsibilities.



Forensic pathologists with significant experience in the field can expect to earn up to $600,000 a year, and the higher end of the pay scale is usually reserved for professionals in roles such as chief medical examiner or chief consultant.

Based on the salary data reported by PathologyBlawg.com, forensic pathologists who are not employed as chiefs of offices generally earn salaries in the range from $100,000 to $200,000 a year, with few pathologists in chief roles reporting an annual pay of over $200,000.

Forensic pathologists typically work in laboratories, morgues, at crime scenes, and in medical examiners’ offices. They can also be employed by the federal, state and local governments, police departments, universities and professional schools, and hospitals, or they can work as consultants.

Salary range

Forensic pathologists’ annual salaries vary depending on a wide range of factors, from industry and type of employer to skill set, area of specialty, and years of professional experience.

Forensic pathologists with 1 to 2 years of experience typically earn up to $169,000 a year, those with 3 or more years of experience are paid up to $321,000 annually, and professionals employed in the best paid forensic jobs can earn up to $610,000 a year based on the salary figures reported by ForensicPathologist.com. The top salaries for this occupation are in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston.


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U.S. Navy photo by Tom Watanabe
Forensic professionals with 1 to 4 years of experience typically report earning salaries in the range from $53,500 to $114,650 a year according to salary statistics provided by Payscale.

Based on the salary statistics reported by ExploreHealthCareers.org, forensic science pathologists generally earn an income in the range from $105,000 to $500,000 a year.

The salary data reported by CriminalJusticeOnlineBlog.com indicates that experienced forensic pathologists typically earn salaries in the range from $175,000 to $200,000 a year.

Average salary

The average salary for forensic pathologists working in the United States is $214,029 a year according to the salary data reported by ForensicPathologist.com, $190,000 a year according to Indeed, $244,000 a year according to HealthcareWorkerSalary.com, and $144,700 a year according to Jobstat. The top salary recorded for this occupation is $235,000 a year, and the lowest annual wage reported by Jobstat is $22,282 a year.

Based on the data reported by HealthcareWorkerSalary.com, professionals in the top 10th percentile earn an annual pay of $335,000 or more, while the 10% of pathologists with the lowest annual salaries earn $177,000 a year or less.

Starting salary

The average starting salary for forensic pathologists in their first year on the job is $80,000 a year if they are employed by government agencies, and considerably higher for professionals working at private crime labs according to the salary data reported by CriminalJusticeOnlineBlog.com.

Hourly wage



The average hourly rate for forensic pathologists employed in the United States is $118 per hour according to the salary figures reported by HealthcareWorkerSalary.com. The 10% of the best paid pathologists earn an hourly wage of $161 or more, and the 10% on the lower end of the scale are paid $85 per hour or less.

Jobstat reports a median hourly pay of $71.95 for this occupation. The highest hourly wage recorded is $116.86 and the lowest, $11.08 per hour.

Salary by state

Forensic pathologists’ annual salaries depend on geographical location and can vary significantly from state to state. Based on the salary data provided by Indeed, forensic pathologists based in California earn $176,000 a year on average, those working in Texas make $157,000 annually on average, and professionals based in New York earn an average annual salary of $197,000 a year.

The median annual pay for forensic pathologists employed in Massachusetts is $192,000 a year, and professionals working in Washington earn around $160,000 a year. Forensic pathologists based in Florida earn $154,000 a year on average, those working in Nevada are paid around $137,000 a year, and professionals employed in Michigan make about $164,000 a year. Forensic pathologists working in Illinois earn $179,000 a year on average, those based in Maine make $140,000 a year on average, and professionals working in Alabama earn around $163,000 a year. The average salary for pathologists employed in New Jersey is $176,000 a year, for those working in Alaska, it is $129,000 a year, and for professionals based in Hawaii it is $107,000 a year.

Forensic pathologists working in New Hampshire earn $160,000 a year on average, those based in Idaho are paid a median yearly wage of $111,000, and professionals working in Arizona make $139,999 a year on average based on the salary figures reported by Indeed.

Salary by city

Forensic pathologists’ average salaries can also vary considerably from city to city. Pathologists based in New York earn an average annual pay of $211,000, those working in Houston earn an average annual income of $174,000, and professionals employed in Dallas earn a salary of $159,000 a year on average. Forensic pathologists working in Chicago earn $183,000 a year on average, those based in Boston are paid around $194,000 a year, and professionals based in Los Angeles earn a median salary of $167,000 a year.

Forensic pathologists employed in San Francisco earn $211,000 a year on average, those based in Atlanta earn around $193,000 a year, and professionals working in Seattle are paid $165,000 a year on average. Pathologists based in Miami earn around $149,000 a year, those working in Washington are paid around $194,000 annually, and professionals working in Philadelphia earn an income of $162,000 a year on average according to the data on Indeed.com.