Getting a forensic science degree can be the start to pursuing a career as a crime scene investigator. The job has developed to a high degree in conjunction with new methods of detecting clues related to various crimes.
Forensic science has become more and more important over the past few years. Getting a forensic science qualification is the start of a brilliant future. A viewing of a crime television show will illustrate the forensic science crime scene investigation that people with this type of degree do when working with the police department. Often, it is the evidence they present that will solve a crime or assist in the conviction of a guilty person.
This page has more details of suitable programs, the schools where they can be taken, what the prospects are after completion, and more. Also check out the pages for Forensic Accounting, Forensic Psychology, and Law Enforcement.
What do you study in a forensic science degree?
The forensic scientist requirements are a bachelor’s degree or above, although some departments will hire people for assistant or forensic science technician positions with an Associate’s degree who have completed special training programs. A training and certification program takes approximately two years to complete.
Education is required in a physical or applied science field, such as a forensic science, chemistry, physical anthropology, biology or physics. Courses would include such things as fingerprinting, pathology/biology, toxicology, odontology, laboratory work and other such courses to enable one to identify various crime science evidence, and similar tasks. As a rule they specialize in one area of the field, such as firearms testing, examining hair, fiber and other crime evidence, or something else they are interested in.
Online courses are available to obtain a degree in forensic science through accredited schools. Some laboratory work is required but this is usually arranged with a local entity, such as a police department. Taking courses from the convenience of one’s home eliminates the need to sit long hours in a classroom and many enjoy the challenges presented.
What are the career prospects as a graduate?
A forensic science qualification can prepare you for many different positions under the umbrella term of “Forensic Scientist”. This science is divided into medical, field and laboratory services. Whether preferring work on crime scene investigation, in a laboratory, identifying certain parts of evidence or in a medical arena with pathology and other work, the courses taken will fit in any area.
Forensic scientists working in crime scene investigations work gathering crime scene evidence, on site, and analyze the data collected. They work closely with the police and government officials to help solve crimes. They also reconstruct crime scenes, collect and analyze DNA samples, examine firearms and bullets, analyze evidence, take fingerprints and operate laboratory equipment.
The salary for this type of employment runs from $29,526 to $65,000, with a median salary of around $45,000. This does not include bonuses, overtime, vacations and employee benefits. The salary depends on the type of work being done, the amount of experience, the location and the type of work involved.
The demand for forensic scientists is expected to continue to grow. As more and more ways of identifying evidence is discovered, they will work more and more toward solving crimes. A great deal of the work is for Federal, State and local governments.
List of schools and programs
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median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*