How to Become a Forensic Science Technician
A forensic science technician handles evidence from crime scenes for police departments. These technicians are essential in helping to catch, convict, or acquit suspects in criminal matters. Forensic science technicians collect evidence and analyze the evidence in a laboratory and also summarize their findings in written reports. They often testify in court, particularly if they have specialized areas of expertise, such as fingerprinting, biochemistry or handwriting analysis.
When a forensic science technician enters a crime scene, they must meticulously collect and safeguard the evidence. They may also assist law enforcement officers in recreating the crime by contemplating the association between the evidence collected. They use the laboratory to decipher the evidence collected at the crime scene and often have to classify unknown substances and objects to determine if these substances and objects are connected to the victim and the suspect. Forensic science technicians can use DNA typing on blood or bodily fluids for identification purposes. They may also use their knowledge of ballistics to determine the type of gun that fired a particular bullet at a crime. Once they have made their findings, forensic science technicians will detail their findings in reports.
Become a Forensic Science Technician: Education & Other Requirements
To become a forensic science tech, there are several education and other key requirement. Forensic science techs typically have a bachelor’s degree, and applicants who have graduated from applied sciences technology programs and who have been extensively trained on using laboratory equipment will have an edge. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, forensic science technicians must also possess the ability to think analytically. They must also be able to handle some stress while working individually and as a member of a team. They must also be able to effectively communicate the results of their findings both orally and in their written work. Additionally they need to know how to collect evidence at a crime scene without contaminating it. They must also must have knowledge of computers for data entry and analysis programs and have a working knowledge of the scientific method. Finally, forensic science technicians need to be familiar with the legal process and court proceedings as they regularly testify in criminal cases.
Forensic Science Technician Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a forensic science technician is $52,840 per year.1 The top ten percent of forensic science technicians earn more than $85,210.1 Forensic science technicians who are employed by federal agencies usually receive higher pay.
Forensic Science Technician Career Outlook
The job of a forensic science technician is multi-faceted. These professionals have an opportunity to work in the field, the laboratory, and in legal settings, which can make it an excellent career choice for a person with varied interests. The career prospects are influenced by advancements in forensic science technology and increased use of forensic science by law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes.
Featured Forensic Science Technology Degrees
American InterContinental University Online
- Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
- Criminal Justice, AA (Online)
- Criminal Justice, BA (Online)
- Homeland Security, BA (Online)
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Justice Administration-Advanced
- PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership-Advanced
- M.S. in Criminal Justice Leadership & Executive Management - Global Leadership
- B.S. in Human Services / Criminal Justice
- B.S. in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
- B.S. in Criminal Justice
Colorado Technical University Online
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Human Services
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Cybercrime and Security
Keiser University Graduate School
- Criminal Justice, MA (Online)
Walden University International
- M.S. in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
- PhD in Criminal Justice - General
- Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration - Criminal Justice
Interested in a career similar to a forensic science technician? Check out these related careers:
- Blood Spatter Analyst
- Computer Forensics
- Crime Lab Analyst
- Forensic Accountant
- Forensic Anthropologist
- Forensic Ballistics Expert
- Forensic Nursing
- Forensic Psychology
- Crime Scene Investigator
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm
Page Edited by Charles Sipe.