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Crime Scene Technician Certificate

Whether it is Agent Booth’s unique ways of locating fingerprints or DNA samples to draw conclusions related to a crime case or Sherlock Holmes’s masterful and unusual strategies; investigating and collecting evidence from crime scenes sure seems like one challenging, yet exciting line of work.

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If you are looking for a way to pursue a career in criminal investigation, it is recommended that you undertake some formal education and training required for crime scene technician positions.

As a first step towards becoming one, you may consider pursuing a certificate program that is offered by many on-campus as well as distance learning schools. Before you enroll in an institute, there are some important aspects you need to be fully aware of.

What do crime scene technicians do?

  • They are forensic science professionals who help solve crimes by collecting, preserving, and analyzing evidence from crime scenes.
  • They are responsible for assessing, locating and identifying traces of blood, drugs, textile fibers, body fluids, hair, paint, glass etc. 
  • They record all the findings related to a crime scene.
  • They draw sketches and take pictures of the crime scene.
  • They ensure that the evidence is taken care of and securely transported to the forensic laboratory.
Crime scene technicians play a vital role in solving crimes.
Crime Scene Technician Certificate

What are the prerequisites for crime scene technician certificate?

The education requirements may vary from one employer to another. However, you’ll typically need a college credits in natural science subjects such as biology and chemistry and preferably forensic science.

Crime Scene Technician Certificates:

There are many institutes that provide relevant training to aspiring crime scene technicians. You may find certificates at the undergraduate as well as the graduate level. Take into account the details of the certificate and opt for one that fits in well with your academic and professional goals.

While enrolled in the certificate, you will:

  • Learn how to record minute details at crime scene, and find, process, collect, and preserve evidence
  • Be trained in the use of ethical investigative methods

Some students opt for certificates as a first step towards becoming crime scene technicians whereas others want to build on the knowledge they already have in the field of forensic science.

What courses will you study?

The certificate program’s curriculum will vary from one institute to another. The following list of courses, however, will give you a general idea of the curriculum.

  • Introduction to Crime Scene Technology
  • Principles and Practices of Science and Law
  • Crime Scene Photography
  • Biological Evidence
  • Courtroom presentation of Scientific Evidence
  • Advanced Crime Scene Technology
  • Fingerprint Classification

Online Crime Scene Technician Certificates:

Since more and more people are turning to online education, many institutes offer distance learning programs that allow you to undertake the courses from virtually any location. These programs are suitable for students who prefer to hold on to their current jobs while they pursue the crime scene technician certificate.

Relevant Employment Opportunities

After earning a crime scene technician certificate, there are many different positions that you may choose to apply for, depending on your interests. These include:

  • Crime Lab Assistant
  • Crime Scene Photographer
  • Crime Scene Unit Supervisor
  • Fire Inspector/Investigator
  • Forensic Science Specialist
  • Fingerprint Examiner & Classification Specialist

Crime Scene technicians may potentially find employment opportunities in local, federal, and state-level law enforcement agencies, law firms, and  medical examiners' offices.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Crime Scene Technician Certificate?

Many schools in the US, such as the Purdue University, the Broward College, the Harper College, the California State University Long Beach and the St. Petersburg College, are offering a Crime Scene Technician Certificate Program. Students can enroll in a Certificate program in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigations, which can be completed within a year. This program prepares students to start their careers as Crime Scene Investigators, Legal Investigators, Private Detectives and Forensic Science Technicians.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a Crime Scene Technician Certificate?

In order to obtain a Crime Scene Technician Certificate, program participants have to complete approximately 15-41 credits. They have to study a range of modules including Introduction to Criminal Law, Fingerprint Analysis and Comparison, Firearms Evidence and Scene Analysis, Death Investigations at the Crime Scene, Impression Evidence & Chemical Processing of Evidence, Advanced Forensic Investigation and Interview Skills and Courtroom Testimony.

How Much Can I Make after Completing a Crime Scene Technician Certificate?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median pay of Forensic Science Technicians was $58,230 in 2018. The number of jobs available in this field in 2018 was 16,700. Moreover, the employment of Crime Scene Technicians is expected to grow by 14% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average for all other professions. Thus, this line of work offers bright career prospects.


How much do crime technicians make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics forensic science technicians made a median annual wage of $52,840 in 2012.

What is the employment outlook for Crime Scene Technicians?

According to BLS, employment of forensic science technicians is expected to go up by 6% from 2012 to 2022.

The favorable outlook can be attributed to technological and scientific advancement, as well as the increasing usefulness and relevance of forensic evidence. The popular media has also led to more awareness about the use of forensic information in legal trials and proceedings.

So don’t just idolize your favorite crime-scene TV or literary character, become one yourself. If police detectives are the stars of solving a case based on evidence, then crime scene technicians are the unsung heroes.

Do you wish to become a crime scene investigator, the likes of whom you see on popular TV shows? Find out about the crime scene technician certificate here.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What jobs should I be applying to after my certificate in crime scene?

A:The specificity of the job you should apply to depends on your personal interests into the subject. After completing a certificate in crime scene, you will be eligible to work at an entry level position at any of the following jobs; crime scene investigators, criminalist, latent print examiners, crime lab analyst, fire investigator, evidence technicians, etc.

Q:What are my career prospects after completing crime scene certificate programs?

A:After completing a crime scene certificate program, you will be eligible to work at an entry level position at any of the following jobs; crime scene investigators, evidence technicians, computer forensics, criminalist, latent print examiners, crime lab analyst, fire investigator etc. the specificity of the job will depend on the type of certificate program taken and prior experience related to the job.

Q:What can you do with a crime scene technician certificate?

A:A crime scene certificate program will equip you with technical skill and expertise needed to work in the field. You will learn about various investigative procedures, forensic science, and methods used to collect evidence from crime scenes. Most crime scene technicians are required to have an associate or bachelor degree to work at entry-level. A certificate program can help boost your skill set and improve your career opportunities. State, education, and specialization will determine the income level and career path you can pursue. Forensic science technicians made a median annual income of $52,840 in 2012 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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