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Forensic Science Technician

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What Do Forensic Science Technician Do?

Occupation 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.

Daily Life Of a Forensic Science Technician

  • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
  • Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
  • Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.
  • Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
  • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
  • Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.

Things a Forensic Science Technician Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Forensic Science Technicians say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

  • DNA Examiner (Deoxyribonucleic Acid Examiner)
  • Forensic Technologist
  • Fingerprint Expert
  • Fingerprint Classifier
  • Evidence Technician

Are There Job Opportunities for Forensic Science Technicians?

There were about 15,400 jobs for Forensic Science Technician in 2016 (in the United States). 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. The BLS estimates 2,200 yearly job openings in this field.

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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.

Forensic Science Technician Salary

Forensic Science Technicians make between $34,600 and $97,200 a year.

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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

Tools & Technologies Used by Forensic Science Technicians

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Forensic Science Technicians:

  • 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.com SmartDraw Legal
  • DataWorks Plus Digital CrimeScene

How to Become a Forensic Science Technician

What education is needed to be a Forensic Science Technician?

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

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Where do Forensic Science Technicians Work?

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Below are examples of industries where Forensic Science Technicians work:

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Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Forensic Science Technician might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Forensic Science Technician in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

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