Forensic Science Technician Career
Explore the exciting field of forensic science technology...
Forensics, the application of science to law, is a field in healthcare that has been attracting more interest and recognition. It is an off-shoot of the healthcare industry, merging medical examination with law enforcement, and it is a growing field. Forensic science technician is one career path in the world of forensics that may interest you.
Become a Forensic Science Technician
- Career Plan: How to Become a Forensic Science Technician
Forensic Science Resources...
What is a forensic science technician
Forensic science technicians, also called criminalists, assist in crime investigation by collecting and analyzing evidence in criminal investigations. They may collect the evidence themselves or receive it in a laboratory. They collect and study evidence that comes from victims, the scene of the crime, a possible weapon. For example, a simple thread of clothing can be transferred from the perpetrator to a victim, leaving a trace of evidence that can link a suspect to the crime. Fingerprints, bloodstains, footprints, or ballistic evidence are other examples of things they might analyze. They examine, analyze, and test substances and interpret lab findings. Sometimes they reconstruct the crime scene to piece together varying pieces of evidence. Finally, they prepare their findings in a report, and often testify as expert witnesses in trials. They understand the importance of proper evidence collection and storage to successful crime solving and legal prosecution. Often these technicians specialize in certain areas, like DNA analysis, evidence testing, or firearm examination.
What type of training and education do I need?
You will need a minimum of a bachelorís degree to enter this field, and there are also masterís degree programs in forensics. Some undergraduate programs offer certificate programs along with a degree. You can major in criminalistics, chemistry, physics, or biology. There are about thirty colleges and universities that offer undergraduate degrees with a focus on forensic science or criminology. Look for accreditation from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). If you are not yet in college, be sure to take as many science and math courses as you can. A solid background in chemistry and physics is very important. An associate degree in forensics can get you started in forensics, but not as a technician. Licensing or certification are not required. However, there are various professional organizations offering voluntary certificates.
Is this a growing field?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites a projected growth of 12% for this job, and an average annual salary of $51,480.Many people like the idea of working in forensics as they associate it with mystery solving, but to truly succeed in this, you will need not just the passion for crime solving, but a solid background in science and coursework in forensic science. Whether you choose to major in science or in criminology, find an accredited program and get started in an exciting career in the growing field of forensics.
To learn more about becoming a forensic science technician, you can contact schools that offer forensic science or related programs. If you have not decided if this is the right career choice for you, take some time to explore additional careers in health care.