Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 6435


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Salary Range 16 $2657 $2741 $2859 $2971 $3103 $3235 $3382 $3540 $3710 $3887


The NECROPSY ASSISTANT assists staff in conducting necropsies, collecting, and storing specimens for training veterinary students and residents in pathology and maintaining supplies for the necropsy area.


This is a single classification and not currently part of a series of classes.


Allocation of positions to this class will depend on the total work performed which may include one or a combination of the duties or tasks listed below.

  1. Postmortem Examinations. Typical tasks: assists veterinary pathologists, residents, and medical students in conducting necropsies by performing operations on animal cadavers to identify and document cause of death for medical and legal purposes; decides appropriate methods of dissection and infection control; uses power saws, knives, scissors, and other surgical devices to remove organs and other body parts needed for pathologic examination, research, and teaching purposes; collects and preserves tissue, organs, and body fluids for examination by veterinary pathologists; for processing in histology, microbiology, clinical pathology, and toxicology laboratories; and for examination by residents and veterinary students and research organizations; measures and records body fluids; records weight of organs; takes photographs to document skeletal pathology; instructs veterinary students and residents in proper techniques for performing necropsies.
  2. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: writes postmortem description as directed by pathologists; disposes of animal cadavers and cleans the postmortem room and related areas; cleans, sharpens, and maintains laboratory tools and instruments; receives and labels specimens for laboratory examinations; interprets history and client veterinarian's comments to decide what tests should be done and contacts pathologist if questions arise; prepares biological specimens for mailing to other universities, laboratories, or veterinary practitioners; reports preliminary postmortem findings to clients as directed by veterinary pathologists.


Employees in this class are in regular daily telephone or in person contact with clients, veterinary pathologists, and veterinary students to determine necropsy schedules and the tests to be performed.


Employees in this class receive general supervision and specific assignments from veterinary pathologists who review their work for accuracy, timeliness, and conformity to the standards and practices of the hospital and school, as well as any applicable State or Federal laws, rules, or regulations. The employee is guided by written assignments, oral instructions, and veterinary medicine texts and guides.


Positions in this class are found in hospitals or teaching facilities. They require the willingness to work in the environment associated with the position's location and purpose. They require the willingness to work in areas where there is exposure to infectious diseases, hazardous chemicals, and obnoxious fumes and odors.


Three months of training and/or experience which shows knowledge of:

  • Medical laboratory techniques, methods, equipment, and procedures;
  • Animal anatomy and physiology;
  • Sterilization procedures and sterile techniques;
  • Proper handling and disposing of chemicals.