Cryonics Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotCryonics technicians believe suspending the death of someone today could mean life for that person tomorrow.

dotCryonics isn't to be confused with cryogenics, which is the general scientific field of cold temperatures.

Cryonics is a complicated scientific and ethical challenge. And yes, you do handle bodies. Hugh Hixon is facility engineer for a California group that promotes awareness of cryonics and provides facilities for suspensions.

"One of the most interesting parts of the job is wondering when and who will help these people come back," says Hixon. "It's quite likely that we won't be around when technology enables us to do that."

dotThe theory behind cryonics is that if you freeze a person, he or she can be revived eventually. The person would only be revived when a cure for a disease they may have has been found, or if there's a cure for old age. Cryonics technicians make sure that the freezing is done properly, and that the facilities are properly maintained.

Aside from looking after facilities, the job involves a lot of research. "We're constantly looking for ways to do this better, and to further research on reanimation. We read a lot," says Michael Perry, who works with the same group as Hixon.

dotAlmost all technicians work for foundations or nonprofits that promote cryonics and carry out freezing, or for companies who work directly with these foundations. They also counsel, conduct family casework and educate the public on cryonics.

Cryonics technicians, like Hixon, generally have scientific or philosophy backgrounds with high levels of education. Some have previously worked as doctors, physicists or biologists.

dotCryonics Magazine reports there are about 40 people cryonically suspended at North American facilities. The cost per patient can be quite high, and may come from life insurance plans. Patients must make arrangements to make yearly payments, and also make sure there is money left over to pay for reanimation. Total start-up costs can be as much as $40,000, not including annual fees.

At a Glance

Freeze bodies for future revival

  • There is a growing interest in cryonics
  • Very few paying jobs are available
  • No specific programs are offered, so consider biology or engineering majors