Crime Scene Investigator Degree

Crime scene investigators are responsible for securing the scene of the crime and collecting evidence and information. These professionals perform the following tasks:

A crime scene investigator is responsible for collecting evidence to solve crimes
how to become a crime scene investigator
  • Analyze crime scenes to find out how data should be collected
  • Take photographs and make sketches of crime scenes
  • Record findings and observations
  • Collect physical evidence
  • Preserve evidence for transfer to crime labs
  • A crime scene investigator degree prepares candidates for careers in crime scene investigation.
    Apart from campus-based programs, these days a number of schools offer crime scene investigator degrees online as well. Online programs offer a number of benefits not available with campus based programs. These programs offer a convenient learning schedule to those with busy life routines. They enable students to continue work while studying. These programs are also much less expensive than campus-based programs due to the relatively low cost of online education.

Crime Scene Investigator Education Requirements

  1. The most suitable degree for crime scene investigators is a bachelor’s degree in forensic science.
  2. Students can also acquire a bachelor’s degree in forensic biology or forensic anthropology.
  3. They have to complete courses such as criminal justice, biochemistry, and molecular biology.
  4. Some students may also choose to specialize in areas such as toxicology, DNA profiling, or fingerprint analysis.

Types of Crime Scene Investigation Degrees

Various levels of crime scene investigation degrees are available depending on career goals and objectives of the students:

Certificate programs

Certificate programs in crime scene investigation are comprehensive, hands-on programs that provide the basic foundation for careers in forensic science and crime scene investigation. The program duration may vary between schools, but usually can be completed in about eight months to one year.

Associate's degree

This degree level provides a start with crime scene investigation practices. The program usually lasts for about two years. It familiarizes students with the tools, investigative techniques, and equipments used by Crime Scene Investigators. Individuals with this degree may work in the following capacities:

  • Crime scene photographers
  • Fire investigators
  • Evidence technicians
  • Police department officers
  • Crime lab assistants
  • Evidence officers

Bachelor's degree

This degree is perhaps the most popular choice among those who aspire to become crime scene investigators, due to the scientific nature of crime scene investigation work. This program usually lasts for about four years and offers knowledge in all areas, with a focus on physical science. The courses offered may include the following:

  • Human anatomy
  • Forensics
  • Chemistry
  • Criminal law
  • There is a diverse range of career paths graduates can pursue. Some of these may include:

  • Private consulting
  • Police work
  • Investigation
  • Various supervisory positions

Master's degree

Those who wish to advance in the field of crime scene investigation may choose to speed up their career advancement by earning a master's degree in crime scene investigation. The program broadens skill set, preparing candidates for leadership positions in crime investigation.


Although it is not usually required, crime scene investigators may specialize in a particular area. Specialty areas may include:

  • DNA
  • Toxicology
  • Firearms
  • Profiling
  • Finger printing

Career Outlook

Crime scene investigators perform crime investigation in a variety of sectors. Some of the most common fields where crime scene investigators work include the following:

  • Crime laboratories
  • Police offices and departments
  • Medical examiners
  • Morgues

  • Crime scene investigators earned a median annual wage of $52,840 in May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

How to Become a Psychologist in Texas?

To become a psychologist in Texas, you need a 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or a related field. However, depending on undergrad coursework, a BS degree in other fields is acceptable too. After that, you need a Master’s degree in Psychology or Applied Psychology followed by a PhD. A provisional Texas psychology license, subject to passing the licensing test, will be issued once you gain 2 years of supervised professional experience (SPE). You can then apply for your full practicing license.

How to Become a Psychologist in California?

To become a psychologist in California, a 4-year BS degree in Psychology is needed. An undergraduate degree in a different field is also acceptable depending on the courses completed. You will then need to complete your Master’s and PhD in Psychology or Applied Psychology. Next, you must gain two years of supervisory professional experience and take all mandatory pre-licensure courses required by the California Board of Psychology. You must then pass the board’s requisite exams to obtain your practicing license.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation?

A number of schools in the US, such as California State University Long Beach, Salem University, and West Virginia University, are offering Crime Scene Investigation programs. Students can enroll in a Crime Scene Investigator Certificate program, which can be completed within a year. They can also enroll in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Criminal Justice and can major in Crime Scene Investigation. This degree can be completed within four years.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation?

Students enrolled in Crime Scene Investigator Certificate program have to complete around 80 hours of crime scene investigation courses. They have to study a range of training modules such as Fingerprints Analysis and Comparison, Biological and Trace Evidence at the Crime Scene, Chemical Processing of Evidence, Death Investigations at the Crime Scene, Forensic Report Writing, Crime Scene Photography, and Firearms Evidence.

How Much Can I Make after Completing a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation?

After completing a degree in Crime Scene Investigation, individuals can pursue their careers as Private Detectives, Forensic Science Technicians, and Crime Scene Analysts. As per the statistics shared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forensic Science Technicians made an annual median salary of $58,230 in 2018. Moreover, forecasts suggest the job opportunities in this particular field are likely to shoot up by 14% from 2018 to 2028.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Where can I find crime scene programs?

A:Numerous accredited universities like, Walden University Online and Grand Canyon University offer distance learning programs in this field. Students can get enrolled in these programs from any location. These programs offer students with the convenience of completing their education at their own pace.

Q:Do crime scene degree programs include training on how to use crime scene software in their curriculum?

A:Yes, a crime scene degree program comprises of various courses and practical training sessions in the curriculum. Students undergo a comprehensive study of various theoretical subjects that give them a sound foundation of related knowledge. On the other hand, the curriculum also includes computer lab sessions which are designed to teach students how to use crime scene software. The software helps students get a more practical approach on crime scenes and assessment of crime scenes.

Q:Can you state a list of tech schools that offer a degree in Crime Scene Investigation?

A:You can find the list of schools offering a wide array of Crime Scene Investigation degrees on our website. These schools provide students with extensively designed diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor and master level programs, which enable students to establish lucrative careers in this field. You can search the information regarding all the degrees offered by these colleges on our website. For further information, feel free to contact us.

Q:What types of online Crime Scene degrees are available to students?

A:The online Crime Scene degrees can be opted in different forms. These can be pursued in certificate programs, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctoral degree. Each of the mentioned degree program can be taken in a specialization area to create experts for the profession.

Q:What are the contents of the Microeconomics course of top Crime Scene degrees online?

A:The top Crime Scene degrees online have a dedicated course on Microeconomics, worth 3 credits. This course is designed to provide the students with an introduction to the subject of microeconomics, emphasizing on the individual market functioning and also stressing on the efficiency of the allocation of resources. You also get to learn the supply and demand policy, wages and labor as well as the antitrust actions.

Q:What are the career prospects of completing a crime scene technician certificate?

A:According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Crime Scene Certified technicians is expected to increase due to the influx of technology being developed and used so expertly in the field of law enforcement. Employment opportunities in this field of work are expected to increase by 15 percent till 2018, which is higher than the average.

Q:A crime scene investigation degree online is available at which levels?

A:You can enroll in crime scene investigation degrees at all post-secondary levels. If you have just finished your high school education, you can either enroll in an associate degree in crime scene investigation or a bachelor degree in crime scene investigation. On the other hand, this area can also be pursued at masters level and doctorate level of education.

Q:An associates in crime scene investigation will cover what major subjects?

A:An associated degree in crime scene investigation will cover a wide range of subjects such as the following: crime scene imaging, crime scene safety, evidence management, bloodstain patterns, biological evidence, and more. Students learn about the various fundamental concepts related to this field and prepare themselves for advanced education at bachelor and masters level.

Q:Which major school is offering crime scene investigation degree?

A:There are a number of schools offering crime investigations degrees and courses. You can search online to find out what options you have. Crime investigation careers are growing steadily due to the increased demand of law enforcement officers and investigators. Careers in this field can be exciting, demanding, and challenging in many ways.

Q:Can you tell me about the objectives of a crime scene degree?

A:A crime scene degree will equip you with skills and knowledge needed to work in the field. The program will help you develop ethical skills, learn about the methods used for investigation, master the techniques used for evidence collection, and acquire a broad understanding of criminal law and justice. Browse through our page for more information.

Q:How are crime scene degrees covered in online schools?

A:If you are planning to pursue a crime scene degree online, you must have a computer and a reliable internet connection. The coursework of the degree will be covered online. You can study with the help of videos, online lectures, and classroom conferencing. Some schools may adopt a hybrid format, meaning that students will cover a certain portion of the degree at the campus.

Q:What is the eligibility criteria to be a crime scene investigator?

A:Some positions will require you to have a bachelors degree while others might only need you to have completed high school. Typically, if you want to work in a crime laboratory, you will need a minimum of 4 years of education in science, such as biology or chemistry. To be a crime scene technician, you need relatively less formal education.

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