How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator

Although not as glamorous as the occupation portrayed by the actors on CSI, crime scene investigator jobs are fascinating. Their primary responsibility is to investigate crimes by carefully collecting and analyzing physical evidence. They may collect hair, tissue, and body fluids from a crime victim, or perform tests on items found at a crime scene. In short, they analyze all of the evidence in the interest of providing accurate information that may help to acquit or convict a person of a crime.

>>Find Crime Scene Investigator Degrees.

A crime scene investigator career requires them to be meticulous about details; they must properly collect and store the evidence they collect. They must be able to prepare forms, reports, and other written documentation about their findings. CSIs are often asked to testify at criminal trials, giving testimony about the physical evidence collected and offering their general expertise about forensic evidence.

Request Information free information from schools

Become a CSI – Job Requirements

To pursue a crime scene investigator career, you typically must have either an associate’s degree or certification in some area of science (e.g., biology or chemistry). Criminal Justice Degree Schools has an article on how to become a CSI that may aid you in your research. In some cases, CSIs may be required to have a bachelor’s degree in an area of science. In addition to formal education, CSIs usually participate in training, including photography, death scene processing, fingerprint processing, and blood spatter analysis. People wishing to become a CSI should have strong computer skills. Those wanting crime scene investigation jobs should be aware that they will be responsible for overseeing disturbing crime scenes, including homicides and sexual assaults. They should have the professional disposition required to adequately deal with such scenes. CSIs must be in good health and physically fit, as they often must kneel, reach, climb, stretch, and carry heavy objects to process a crime scene. Occasionally, they carry a firearm.

>>Find a Crime Scene Investigator Degree.

Crime Scene Investigator Salary

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, detectives and criminal investigators earn an average annual salary of about $58,000, or about $28 per hour. A beginning crime scene investigation salary ranges between $34,000 and $45,000. A crime scene investigator salary can approach $100,000 with solid experience.

>>Find a Crime Scene Investigator Program.

Crime Scene Investigator Career Outlook

Over the next decade, crime scene investigator jobs are expected to grow at above average rate due to consistently advances in the forensic sciences. Request information to learn more on a crime scene investigator career.

Online Crime Scene Investigator Degrees, Program and Schools

request information

American InterContinental University Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
  • Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement

request information

University of Phoenix
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in Administration of Justice and Security/Law Enforcement Organizations
  • A.A. in Criminal Justice

request information

Walden University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership & Executive Management - General Program
  • B.S. in Human Services - Criminal Justice 
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration - Criminal Justice

request information

Grand Canyon University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
  • B.S. in Justice Studies

request information

Keiser University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Criminal Justice, AA

request information

Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • AA in Criminal Justice
  • Masters in Criminal Justice: Command College

request information

Capella University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MS - Criminal Justice
  • PhD - Criminal Justice
  • BS - Criminal Justice


Page Edited by Charles Sipe.