Forensic Science Careers

Forensics is the application of different field of sciences to investigate legal issues. Students can earn a general associate’s degree in forensic sciences to quickly secure an entry-level job in this exciting field. A bachelor's degree enables one to specialize in various branches of forensics such as forensic anthropology and forensic entomology. After completing their undergraduate degree, students can pursue a master’s degree in forensic sciences to establish a lucrative career in this field.

Types of Careers in Forensics

Forensic scientists can either apply for jobs directly after graduation or opt for further specialization through a two year MSFS degree program.

The career opportunities in forensic sciences are mostly in the field of legal investigations. Forensic scientists usually work for state or local governments. You can get a chance to investigate crime either in the lab analyzing DNA tests etc or in the field like in prisons, investigation rooms etc.

Forensic Accountants

Forensic accountants can either do a two year associate degree or a four year bachelor’s degree. Forensic accountants normally work with agencies like FBI, IRS/Treasury Department and help them solve the cases especially murders based on financial issues.

Forensic Psychology

Forensic scientists normally interrogate suspects or counsel the criminals under observation. Students have two options; either do a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology or criminology or do any bachelor’s degree leading to a Masters or PHd in forensic psychology.

Forensic Nursing

Forensic nursing is a very diverse field. Forensic nurses can either help solving a criminal case by collecting blood samples, DNA samples or other evidences at the crime scene or they can work as the emergency aid for the victims of a crime scene.  Forensic nurses need a regular degree in nursing which is a four year program.

Forensic Technician

Forensic technicians collect and analyze data from the crime scene. The pre requisite for forensic technology is a large number of courses in science like Physics and college level Mathematics or Calculus. At undergraduate level, forensic technology can also be substituted with a degree in Biology and chemistry.

Forensic Anthropology

Forensic anthropologists apply physical anthropology to investigate the evidence from human remains or skeletons. Students are required to do complete a graduate degree in forensic Anthropology after 4 years of Bachelors.

Forensic Chemistry

Forensic chemists can do a lot of different types of investigations like analyzing residues from a gun shot or bomb blast or identification of use of illegal drugs etc. are required to do complete a Masters degree in Chemistry after four years of Bachelors in Sciences.

Computational Forensics

Computational forensic scientists analyze the criminal evidence from algorithms, graphs and computerized softwares.

Forensic Dactyloscopy

Forensic Dactyloscopists analyze fingerprints.

Forensic DNA Analysis

Forensic DNA analysts analyze chemical evidence from DNA to recognize the culprits of rape or to identify issues like paternity.

Forensic Engineering

Forensic engineers identify the fault lines in a construction accident or catastrophe.

Forensic Entomology

Forensic entomologists calculate the time of death by analyzing the insects around a dead body.

Forensic Geology

Forensic geologists analyze the minerals, soil and plant samples around a crime scene.

Forensic Odontology

Forensic odontologists analyze the criminal samples from teeth.

Forensic Limnology

Forensic limonologists identify the crime scene by analyzing the samples from fresh water sources or by using diatoms to investigate criminal evidence.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Forensic Scientist?

To work with the law enforcement agencies as a Forensic Scientist, you need to begin with a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Forensic Sciences, Criminology or Criminal Justice. Many universities offer degrees in these areas. These include the Michigan State University, the Ohio University, etc. A typical degree in Forensic Sciences prepares students to analyze, investigate and gather information from crime scenes. The graduates of a bachelor’s degree often choose a 2-year master’s degree or they take the state-conducted licensure exam to gain field experience.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Forensic Scientist?

The requirements of becoming a Forensic Scientist usually vary from one state to another. The criteria of selection for the post of Forensic Scientist also depends on the type of job position (i.e., entry-level, mid-level, etc.). However, there are a few common requirements one must fulfill to become a Forensic Scientist. These include,

  • Having a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Forensic Sciences, Criminology or a related field.
  • Having 1-2 years of work experience in the field i.e., internship, volunteer work, etc.
  • Getting a certification from the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) or the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB).
  • Clearing all background checks and the drugs test.
  • Passing the interview.

How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Forensic Scientist?

Graduates of a Forensic Sciences degree can work as Forensic Science Technicians with law enforcement agencies. However, to improve their career prospects, many graduates pursue a master’s or a doctoral degree in the same field. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated the annual median salary of a Forensic Science Technician as $58,230.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What are the major sectors for a career in forensic science?

A:The major sectors in a Career in Forensic Science include the Medical and Government Sectors as well as private bodies. You can get employed in any of sectors that offer jobs which are in line with your area of specialization and interest.

Q:What are the tasks involved in the Pathology Forensic science careers?

A:The Pathology Forensic sciences career involve tasks like performing autopsies, investigating officers to acquire data, as well as testifying in a court. They are not that much actively involved in visiting the crime scenes.

Q:Which degree can help me excel in forensics career more than otherwise?

A:To get maximum progression in your forensics career you should opt for a degree program that is accredited or recognized by associations like the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), International Association of Identification, the Biochemical Society, American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) and of course the US Department of Justice.

Q:How volatile are the forensic careers generally?

A:Forensics careers are usually very stable and offer immense job security. Students with specialized degrees such as the Master of Science in Forensics Psychology can work at management level posts in a variety criminal justice areas such as police investigation department or the FBI. The career prospects of these individuals are highly dependent on their level of education and their area of specialization as well. Thus, individuals with recognized degrees and prior work experience can come across ample career development options and earn accordingly.

Q:Which career in forensic is outside the orthodox crime laboratory?

A:The types of career in forensic that do not require being in a crime laboratory are forensic anthropology, forensic engineering, forensic entomology, forensic odontology, forensic pathology, forensic psychiatry etc.

Q:What are the future prospect of forensics careers?

A:Forensics career are ever increasing with the demand for Forensics remaining consistently above 5% given candidates. This clearly states the future prospects of this field.

Q:What are the routes to prepare for a forensic career?

A:A Forensic career can be opted by the Four year programs that are useful in entering positions of responsibility requiring more specialized skills. Students can choose to pursue a master's degree in this field to capitalize on managerial level jobs in this field.

Q:While studying about the forensics jobs I came across Corporate Forensics. What is involved in this field of forensics?

A:Corporate Forensics is a widely expanding field and area of expertise of the field of forensic studies and there are scores of forensics jobs in it. The subject deals with studying the case of a company or a corporation being physically or otherwise damaged. In modern times, this primarily related to theft and also hacking, as everything is available online. Even cases of leaks of confidential files is treated under Corporate Forensics.

Q:What are the computer security and forensic prospects after degree completion?

A:The career prospects for someone with a computer security and forensic degree are very bright. The combination of these two disciplines gives you a very unique set of skills that is very useful for law enforcement agencies like the CIA, FBI and police.

Q:How can I qualify for the top Forensics jobs in the market?

A:In order to make it to the top Forensic jobs in the market, you need to have completed your Masters in Forensic Sciences or the Doctorate in Forensic Studies from an accredited institute. This allows degree holders to qualify for prestigious working positions of the field such as Security and Information Technology Expert, Forensic Expert, Assistant Forensic Scientist, Criminal Justice Forensic Expert, and many others.

Q:While going through Legal Forensics careers, I came across Conflict Resolution and Negotiation course. What is it about?

A:It is very common to come across Conflict Resolution and Negotiation course while searching on Legal Forensics careers. In this specific course the individuals are taught different reasons why the conflicts might arise between two parties, could be countries. They are also taught the skills of arranging reconciliation through negotiation.

Q:After the completion of forensic courses what are the salary in future?

A:The salary of forensic technicians can vary depending on their qualifications, skills, and experience. They require a number of skills and knowledge related to laboratory science, computers, medicine, and law. According to the website of Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of forensic science technicians was $52,840 in May 2012.

Q:I want forensic science career information. Can you give me some?

A:The field of forensic science is very technical and hence only those who have specialized training go into it. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals working in forensics earned a median annual wage of $52,840 in May 2012. Candidates with more experience are able to get more chances for advancement.

Q:Can you tell me about careers in forensic investigation and criminal justice?

A:Careers in forensic science and criminal justice graduates have a wide array of job opportunities to choose from. To begin with, you may want to look into local openings at the positions of detectives, police officers, investigators, forensic technicians, crime scene investigators, federal agents and security specialists. Some of these jobs may require training before you can start the job, on the field.

Q:What are Forensic Science Careers and jobs?

A:Forensic scientists can work in State and local governments and may be required to work with police investigators and crime experts. Their jobs mainly revolve around reconstructing crime scenes, collecting and analyzing DNA samples, examining firearms, reporting findings, analyzing and interpreting laboratory findings and so on.

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