How to Become a Blood Spatter Analyst
Fans of Dexter, a television drama that revolves around a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department, may think that Dexter’s job is the stuff of TV fiction; however, blood spatter is a very real field of forensic science.
Blood spatter analysts provide an extremely important service in specific areas of law enforcement, particularly those departments that deal with homicide and violent crime. Although the term ‘blood spatter’ may evoke some provocative images, blood spatter analysis is a specialty rooted in details, sometimes involving very little blood at all.
Blood Spatter Analyst Job Description and Common Tasks
Bloodstain pattern analysts examine blood that is left behind at crime scenes in whatever quantity. It could be a trace amount in the form of a trail or print, or it could involve a large loss of blood. An analyst uses several different techniques to collect the evidence from the scene for later processing at a lab.
Common techniques may involve taking photographs, using swabs and ultraviolent light to detect and collect trace evidence, and recreating splatter in the lab. This also requires the creating of detailed reports using computer simulations and analysis, as well as reporting findings to colleagues, law enforcement professionals and court officials. Bloodstain pattern analysts can confirm or refute assumptions made about the crime or statements made by suspects and witnesses based on their analysis.
Blood Spatter Analyst Requirements and Training
Bloodstain analysis requires a meticulous and thorough understanding of the properties of blood and the human body. Anatomy plays a large role as it pertains to arterial flow and the behavior of blood before and after it leaves the body.
Most blood spatter analysts begin with a certificate or degree in criminal justice, particularly forensic science. Specific classes include biology, anatomy, criminology, constitutional law and statistical analysis. These will eventually transition into specific classes dealing with blood that will help an analyst reveal the type of weapon used in a crime, the location and movement of the victim and suspect, and ultimately the reconstruction of a crime. Once hired, analysts attend classes or workshops to continually update their skills and knowledge.
Blood Spatter Analyst Salary, Job Outlook and Employers
Blood spatter analysts are very specialized, but the need exists for more people in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that forensic science technicians earn a median salary of $52,840 per year as of May 2012.1 Many bloodstain pattern analysts work in local and state crime laboratories that are associated with law enforcement agencies. Many agencies require blood spatter analysts to perform additional forensic science duties.
Featured Schools with Related Programs
American InterContinental University Online
- Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
- Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
University of Phoenix
- M.S. in Administration of Justice and Security/Law Enforcement Organizations
- A.A. in Criminal Justice
- Criminal Justice, AA (Online)
- Criminal Justice, BA (Online)
- Homeland Security, BA (Online)
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Justice Administration-Advanced
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership-Advanced
Florida Tech University Online
- Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice/Homeland Security
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
- B.S. in Human Services / Criminal Justice
- B.S. in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
- B.S. in Criminal Justice
Penn Foster Schools
Interested in a career similar to a blood spatter analyst? Check out these related careers:
- Computer Forensics
- Crime Lab Analyst
- Forensic Accountant
- Forensic Anthropologist
- Forensic Ballistics Expert
- Forensic Nursing
- Forensic Psychology
- Forensic Science Technician
- Crime Scene Investigator
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm
2. Echaore-McDavid, Susan and McDavid Richard A. Career Opportunities in Forensic Science. New York: Ferguson, 2008.
Page Edited by Charles Sipe.