Forensic Technician Career Plan

Become a Forensic Science Technician

Forensic Science Resources…

Forensic technicians generally have four year degrees. With any career that requires this level of education, it’s important to do some advance planning. The following guide was written with high school students and graduates in mind. (If you already have a degree in a science field, forensic technology may be a good choice for you as well — you may skip on down to the third step.)

  1. Explore the forensic field and make sure it’s a good fit. You will find resources on the site of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. All Things Forensic, a British site, has articles that a lay person can understand.

  2. Meanwhile, take rigorous college prep courses. You’ll want lots of lab sciences. Concentrate on learning lab report and note taking skills. Consider joining speech or drama club to work on public speaking skills. You will need this skill if you find yourself testifying in court.

  3. Research accredited baccalaureate degree programs in forensic technology. An alternate route is to get an undergraduate degree in a science field and do a certificate program later. You will need at least 24 units of chemistry or biology.

  4. Begin making professional connections while you’re still in school. Become a student member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. You’ll find a number of resources in the Young Forensic Scientist Forum.

  5. If you are interested in crime scene work, you can also consider student membership through the International Association for Identification. If you want to work at crime scenes, a one year internship is advised. (Most forensic technicians aren’t expected to analyze materials outside the lab, especially if they live in urban areas, but you may live in an area where it’s needed.)

  6. Now it’s time for a permanent position. You will find career resources on the site of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. At some point, you may want to do grad school to increase your options.

Personality Traits: According to the BLS, analytical thinking, communication skills, and attention to detail are important traits for science technicians. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences notes that ethics is a must. Forensic technicians may be called upon to be expert witnesses.