Have you ever wondered what goes on behind that yellow tape at a crime scene? In most crime scenes, crime scene investigators and specialist are the first ones to collect evidence and analyze the incident. These are highly skilled professionals who inspect all kinds of crime and assist other law enforcement agencies in solving such cases. Crime scene investigation is a major branch of forensic science. Over the years, technology and other developments have greatly influenced this field. Individuals who want to work as a crime scene investigator must possess many technical skills and advanced education in this discipline.
Crime Scene Programs
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Crime Scene Degrees
Many Crime scene investigators started their career as a police officer. But the field now requires specialized education and a college degree. There are a number of forensic science colleges that offer degree programs in this area. If you are interested in prepping yourself for this field, you can get a degree in forensic science or natural science. First of all it is important to remember that having a sound understanding of basic science is absolutely necessary. You need to first complete you high school diploma with a sufficient score in all basic science subjects.
The next step would be to enroll in a forensic science college for either an associate degree or a bachelor degree in forensic science. A crime scene investigator degree is designed to equip students with a complete understanding of operational crime scene work. Since the field is vast, the coursework is divided into a number of subjects that focus on a specific area of forensic science.
In this program, you will learn about various crime scene technologies being used today and what different techniques are used to collect and analyze data. There are many theoretical based subjects that you will cover along with practical training. Not only will you learn about fundamental concepts in CSI, but will practically apply these principles to simulated cases in crime scene learning labs. Mentioned below are a few main subjects covered in the program:
Elements of forensic science
Trace evidence analysis
Photography in crime scene investigation
Science of fingerprints
Firearms and tool mark identification
The curriculum may vary from college to college. You can also pick an area for specialization, depending upon which specific field you wish to work in. Some of the most common areas that are offered for specialization include DNA analysis and firearm examination. Crime scene investigators and technicians also need to develop a skill set for this career. Crime scene degrees help polish teamwork, observation, problem-solving, and analytical skills.
Crime scene investigators and technicians are usually employed by federal agencies and law enforcement agencies. The scope of their work will depend upon their area of specialty and training. Some of the main job duties include preserving evidence, analyzing evidence, collecting evidence, transferring evidence to crime labs, and preparing documents. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that these professionals earned an annual median income of $51,570 in 2010.
Are you looking for a career in law enforcement? There are many options you can choose from, such as police officer careers, parole officer, and more. But if you want a job that isn’t about being on the front lines, a career in crime scene investigations can be a suitable choice. These are professionals who do most of the work at a crime scene, collecting evidence, analyzing the scene, gathering data, and assisting other law enforcement officers. It is with this evidence and their analysis that leads to clues to help solve crimes and identify and apprehend criminals. Crime scene investigators are found working in various law enforcement agencies and crime labs.
To become a crime scene investigator, you need to have a degree in crime scene investigation. This area is offered as an academic field by many renowned universities. You can start off your academic pursuit after getting a high school diploma and enrolling in either an associate degree in crime scene investigation or a bachelor degree in crime scene investigation. However, there are a number of short courses and non-degree programs that will also equip you with the knowledge in this field.
What is a Certificate in Crime Scene?
A certificate program in crime scene is a non-degree program. The duration of the program can range anywhere from 6 to 12 months, depending upon the institute you enroll in. Certificate programs are a great way to acquire career oriented knowledge and get certified in a specific field or task. Many employers nowadays prefer hiring individuals who have such certifications. The program will help you achieve the following objectives:
Demonstrate a thorough understanding of anatomy, diseases and traumas, and basic physiology.
Apply various investigative techniques.
Identify, collect, preserve, transport, and analyze evidence from crime scenes
Acquire in-depth knowledge of basic principles and protocol measures used in forensic fields.
Since the program is relatively short in duration, the coursework is career oriented and you will be required to complete certain subjects within a defined period of time. Some institutes also provide practical training in labs where students are taught how to analyze fingerprints, analyze digital evidence, and process information through computer based programs. Skill development is also an important part of this field. Individuals must possess analytical, communication, problem-solving, and technical skills.
With a Crime scene investigation certificate under your belt, you can apply for jobs in police departments, crime laboratories, morgues, and even medical examiner offices. These agencies require the services of such professionals. The basic job of a crime scene investigator is to assist law enforcement officers with crime scenes, collect data, transport data to labs, and provide reasonable conclusions based upon the evidence.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for crime scene investigators in 2010 was $51,570. The growth rate for these professionals is expected to be 19%, which is relatively faster than other professions. So you can expect a reasonable income and look forward to a challenging occupation if you decide to become a crime scene investigator.
Questions / Answers
Q:In a crime scene investigation degree, what will I cover?
A:A crime scene investigation degree will cover a wide range of theory-based subjects and practical subjects. You will acquire an in-depth understanding of the field and crime scene investigative procedures. Side by side, you will also learn how to practically apply these principles and procedures in simulated environments. By the end of the program you will be qualified to work in a CSI unit.
Q:Are crime scene degrees possible to pursue online?
A:Yes, you can enroll in online crime scene degrees. Many online schools are offering online degree programs. In today's fast moving and inflated economy, attending college can turn out be a difficult pursuit. Many students prefer studying from home. Online programs have popular among students and professionals who are working. All you need is a laptop and a reliable internet connection.