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How to Become A Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientists are technicians who use scientific principles and methods to analyze data collected from crime scenes. These professionals work with the criminal justice system and can be found working alongside investigators at crime scenes. The field of forensic science has emerged as a major branch of sciences in recent years. There are over 1000 certified forensic scientists working in various crime scene units and crime labs all over the country. This career has become popular in recent years due to many reasons including TV shows that highlight the importance of this field.

Requirements to Be a Forensic Scientist

The requirements to become a forensic scientist may vary from state to state. But it is required that all forensic science technicians earn at least a bachelor degree in this field. In some cases it has been seen that police officers working in the law enforcement department move onto this job by acquiring specialized education in this area. A number of universities are offering associate, bachelor, masters, and certificate degrees in forensic science. This area can be studied at degree and non-degree levels. Before you enroll in any program, check with your state to see what the minimum educational and training requirements are for forensic scientists.

In a forensic science degree, you will be required to study subjects related to law, general sciences, and criminal justice. Since forensic science technician are required to work in certain law related and law enforcement departments, it is necessary for them to have a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system.

The coursework will vary slightly from college to college. But usually, a forensic science degree will shed light upon concepts and subjects listed below:

  • Introductory Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Population Genetics
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Crime and Society
  • Forensic Analysis
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Research in Forensic Science
  • Principles of Analytical Chemistry

Some courses are covered in classrooms while others require practical work and are therefore studied in labs. You must complete all of the coursework to earn the degree. You can also study a forensic degree online by enrolling in online colleges.


With a degree in hand, your next step to becoming a forensic scientist involves on-the-job training. This training will depend upon which specific branch of forensic science you wish to work in. You will spend a great deal of time working with senior technicians who will train and guide you. The training session can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Throughout the training, you will also learn how to use certain firearms, collect evidence from crime scenes, transport evidence and data to crime labs, perform certain scientific measures such as collecting fingerprints, and also report making.

Salary of a Forensic Scientist

The median income level of forensic scientists was $51,570 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010. This field is expected to grow at a fast rate in coming years and is becoming a popularly pursued profession. You can enhance your career opportunities and also move into other segments of the law enforcement field by acquiring more credentials.


Questions / Answers

Q:I want to become a forensic scientist. What degree program should I pursue?

A:Forensic scientists are professionals who work alongside crime scene investigators and law enforcement officers. These experts help analyze data from crime scenes and use scientific methods to classify evidence. If you want to become a forensic scientist, you can enroll in a degree program that will equip you with skills and in-depth knowledge. Forensic science degrees are offered at associate, bachelor, and masters level.

Q:How to become a forensic scientist and is there reasonable income in this career?

A:Forensic scientists are professionals who use scientific procedures and methods to analyze and classify data from crime scenes. If you want to become a forensic scientist, you will need to acquire the necessary training and education through a forensic science degree. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income level of forensic scientist is $51,570.

Q:What is a forensic science degree designed for?

A:Forensic science is a part of the crime scene investigation unit. The field refers top the application of scientific principles in crime scenes. Forensic science degrees are designed to provide students with knowledge and skill needed to become a forensic scientist. These programs cover a wide range of science subjects and also focus on practical implementation.

Q:Can you tell me a little about forensic scientist officer certification?

A:To become a forensic scientist, you must acquire a degree or a certification in this area. There are a number of certification programs available. These are career oriented programs that provide students with professional knowledge and skills. The duration of a certificate program is shorter as compared to degree programs.

Q:How to become a police forensic officer after getting a high school degree?

A:Once you have completed your high school education, you must enroll in a college for a bachelor associate degree. College education is important to qualify for police training programs. You can opt for a degree in forensic science, or criminal justice, or any relevant area. Upon completion of you college education, you can enroll in a police training academy and acquire formal training.

Q:What do forensic scientists do in the professional world?

A:Forensic scientists are professionals who are often found working in crime units and crime labs. The job duties of forensic scientist include the following: collect evidence from crime scenes, transport evidence to crime labs, apply scientific principles to analyze data and findings, photograph evidence, make reports, and in some cases, provide expert testimony in trials.

Q:Can you give me some information about forensic scientist salary?

A:According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic scientists make a median income of $51,570 per year. This figure is expected to grow in the coming years. Students who wish to join the crime scene sector and work as forensic scientist can prepare for the field by acquiring formal education and training.

Q:Are forensic scientist jobs suitable for me?

A:Forensic science is an upcoming field in the law enforcement sector. These professionals analyze evidence from various crime scenes to help develop conclusions. From gathering data, photographing crime scenes, to analyzing and transporting evidence, forensic scientist conduct a number of job tasks. One must have a degree or a certification in the field of forensic science.

Q:Can you please briefly tell me about the forensic scientist job description?

A:Forensic scientists help crime scene investigators in collecting and analyzing evidence from crime scenes. These professionals apply scientific principles to help analyze evidence in crime labs. The jobs tasks may vary slightly but generally include the following: photographing crime scenes, collecting evidence, making reports, drawing conclusions, observing crime scenes, and preserving evidence.

Q:What are the main admission requirements of forensic scientist colleges?

A:There are a number of colleges offering forensic science degree programs. If you plan on enrolling in these colleges, you must fulfill the admission requirements first. These will depend upon which college you enroll in, and what level of degree you wish to pursue. However, you may need a high school diploma to qualify for college studies.

Q:A forensic scientist degree is offered at what levels of college education?

A:Forensic science degrees are offered at all levels of college education. You can choose between the following main degree programs: associate degrees in forensic science, bachelor degree in forensic science, and masters degree in forensic science. This academic principle can also be pursued at non-degree level. To find out more, feel free to browse through our page.

Q:In a forensic scientist career, how much annual income should I expect?

A:Forensic science technicians are professionals who work alongside other law enforcement officers and help solve crime cases. These technicians gather and analyze evidence from crime scenes. The occupation is expected to grow at a fast rate in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of these technci8nas is $51,570.

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