Legal Process – complete understanding of the role of forensic science within the law. They need know how to collect evidence properly so it is not damaged. They also need to understand that there are state rules so that way they can properly transfer evidence. Paperwork is handled properly when giving processed evidence to the police detectives or attorneys.
Laboratory Equipment – They use microscopes to look at evidence such as hair, fibers and bullets. They use lab equipment to pull out DNA from blood collected at the scene of the crime. They must be skilled at using computers to input data and to use databases to compare DNA, fingerprints and ballistics data.
Critical Thinking – Forensic science technicians walk away from a crime scene. They will have a lot of evidence that is need to go through. For an examples like blood splatter, fingerprints, footprints, blood samples and shell casings. Back at the lab they have to go through all of the evidence piece by piece. Then they must then put all of that data together to form a picture of what happened at the crime scene. Then they have to figure out what actually happen and like where the attacker was and what he used to kill them with.
Communication – Forensic science technicians need to communicate well and very clear. During an active crime scene they need to communicate with other fields. For example, if a poison is found in a blood sample they will need to go to a toxicologist to determine how the poison will affect the person. In some cases, they may appear as witnesses at a trial. And must explain to a judge and jury how evidence was collected and processed and what the evidence shows about the crime.
A Day in a Life
Duty – Analyze crime scenes to determine what evidence should be collected and how. Take photographs of the crime scene. And evidence. Make sketches of the crime scene. Record observations and findings, such as the location and position of evidence. Collect evidence, including weapons, fingerprints, and bodily fluids Catalog and preserve evidence for transfer to crime labs Reconstruct crime scenes.
In the Lab – Perform chemical, biological, and microscopic analyses on evidence taken from crime scenes. Explore possible links between suspects and criminal activity using the results of DNA or other scientific analyses. Talk with experts in specialized fields, such as toxicology.
Graduate from high school in order to set yourself up for success. Forensic scientists are advised to graduate from high school, ideally with high marks in classes such as biology, chemistry, physiology, statistics, and mathematics. Also, some students choose to volunteer or intern in relevant agencies such as police departments, fire departments, medical laboratories, hospitals, or other organizations. Then you enroll in a forensic science program (2-4 years). For prospective entry-level forensic science technicians, there are some associate degree programs available. Admissions requirements for two-year programs in this field generally call for a high school diploma. You need a competitive GPA; a personal statement, experience in a police department, crime laboratory, or other relevant setting (1-3 years). At this stage, many students of forensic science programs choose to some professional experience in medical and diagnostic laboratories, police departments, local governments, federal agencies, hospitals. Optional: Enroll in a graduate program in forensic science (2-4 years). For mid-career forensic scientists seeking to upgrade their knowledge and credentials, pursuing a master’s or doctoral program is an enticing option.
In 2016 the average salary for a Forensic Science Technician was $56,750. On the low end, forensic science technicians 25 percent of people earned $42,710 meaning 75 percent of people earned more than this amount. The 75 percent of people will make a salary of $74,220.
- Employed 70.5%
- Further study 14.7%
- Unemployed. 7.9%
- Working and studying 4%
- Other 2.9%
Type of work:
- Technicians and other professional 23.1%
- Retail catering and bar work 20.7%
- Secretarial and numerical clerks 7.5%
- Science professionals 7%
- Other 41.7%
A relevant Master’s degree or PhD can improve your employment prospects as competition intensifies for jobs. However, it is worth considering that courses can be difficult to fund and demand a higher level of academic ability. Some skills are transferable, such as: team work and working independently; presentation skills, as you need to be an verbal and written communicator, e.g. court reports. There are personal qualities that may be useful, such as a resilient outlook, as some work is upsetting or unpleasant. You could be asked to work unsocial hours, so a flexible approach is helpful.
Forensic science technicians had about 15,400 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of forensic science technicians were:
- Local government 57%
- State government. 29%
- Medical and laboratories 3%
- Testing laboratories 2%
- Federal government 1%
Forensic science technicians may have to work outside in all different types of weather, and spend many hours in laboratories or offices, or do some combination of both. They often work with specialists and other law enforcement people. Most of the forensic science technicians work only in laboratories. Crime scene investigators may need to travel to cities, counties, or states.
There work staggered day, evening, or night shifts and they may have to work overtime because they must always be available to collect data or analyze evidence and they need to be always on alert. Technicians are sometimes working in laboratories and usually work a standard workweek although they will get called outside of the standard work hours, too. And if they are needed they might need to go to work immediately to go work case.