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Forensic Science Technician

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What Does it Take to Be a Forensic Science Technician?

Job Description: Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.

List of Forensic Science Technician Job Duties

  • Analyze gunshot residue and bullet paths to determine how shootings occurred.
  • Examine physical evidence, such as hair, fiber, wood, or soil residues to obtain information about its source and composition.
  • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
  • Prepare solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
  • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.

Qualities of a Forensic Science Technician

Forensic Science Technicians state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Other Forensic Science Technician Job Titles

  • Polygraph Operator
  • DNA Examiner (Deoxyribonucleic Acid Examiner)
  • Forensic Toxicologist
  • Trace Evidence Technician
  • Forensic Investigator

Job Demand for Forensic Science Technicians

In the United States, there were 15,400 jobs for Forensic Science Technician in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 16.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,600 new jobs for Forensic Science Technician by 2026. There will be an estimated 2,200 positions for Forensic Science Technician per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Forensic Science Technicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Forensic Science Technician are Colorado, Delaware, and South Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in North Dakota, New Jersey, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Forensic Science Technician

The salary for Forensic Science Technicians ranges between about $34,600 and $97,200 a year.

Salary Ranges for Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic Science Technicians who work in Illinois, California, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

How much do Forensic Science Technicians make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $49,990
Arizona $60,900
Arkansas $42,790
California $85,280
Colorado $64,740
Connecticut $73,970
Florida $52,810
Georgia $50,600
Hawaii $57,770
Idaho $53,120
Illinois $87,660
Indiana $61,140
Iowa $69,820
Kansas $50,860
Kentucky $51,560
Louisiana $47,300
Maine $49,780
Maryland $66,360
Massachusetts $79,440
Michigan $65,100
Minnesota $62,710
Mississippi $51,560
Missouri $51,440
Montana $59,870
Nebraska $56,470
Nevada $69,110
New Hampshire $70,960
New Jersey $62,700
New Mexico $42,750
New York $66,650
North Carolina $47,480
Ohio $67,750
Oregon $65,560
Pennsylvania $50,820
South Carolina $45,070
South Dakota $51,620
Tennessee $51,090
Texas $59,340
Virginia $70,290
Washington $60,670
West Virginia $50,320
Wisconsin $53,900
Wyoming $55,210

What Tools do Forensic Science Technicians Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Forensic Science Technicians may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • IBM Notes
  • Graphics software
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
  • Laboratory information management system LIMS
  • National Crime Information Center NCIC database
  • Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS
  • National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN
  • DesignWare 3D EyeWitness
  • The CAD Zone The Crime Zone
  • SmartDraw Legal
  • DataWorks Plus Digital CrimeScene

Becoming a Forensic Science Technician

Learn what Forensic Science Technician education requirements there are.

Forensic Science Technician Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Forensic Science Technician?

Forensic Science Technician Work Experience

Where Forensic Science Technicians Work

Forensic Science Technician Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Forensic Science Technician Industries

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Those who work as a Forensic Science Technician sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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