Forensic Science Technician: Kenia A. Garcia
Daily Tasks and Responsibility:
At crime scenes, forensic science technicians typically do the following: Analyze crime scenes to determine what and how evidence should be collected, 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 and collect physical evidence, including weapons, fingerprints, and bodily fluid Catalog and preserve evidence for transfer to crime labs
In laboratories, forensic science technicians typically do the following: Perform chemical, biological, and physical analysis on evidence taken from crime scenes, explore possible links between suspects and criminal activity using the results of scientific analyses, consult with experts in related or specialized fields, such as toxicology (the study of poisons and their effect on the body) and ontology (a branch of forensic medicine that concentrates on teeth), and reconstruct crime scenes
Education/Training needed: Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences, such as chemistry or biology. Students who major in forensic science should ensure that their program includes extensive course work in mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Students who attend more general natural science programs should make an effort to take classes related to forensic science. Forensic science technicians receive on-the-job training before they are ready to work on cases independently. Newly hired crime scene investigators typically assist experienced investigators. New investigators often learn proper procedures and methods for collecting and documenting evidence while working under supervision. Forensic science technicians learn laboratory specialties on the job. The length of this training varies by specialty. Technicians may need to pass a proficiency exam or otherwise be approved by a laboratory or accrediting body before they may perform independent casework or testify in court. Throughout their careers, forensic science technicians need to keep up with advances in technology and science that improve the collection or analysis of evidence.
Preferred job skills: Critical thinking, speaking, complex problem solving, writing, and active listening
Salary: Medium annual wage $52,840
Work environment: About 9 in 10 forensic science technicians work in state and local government in the following workplaces: Police departments and offices, crime laboratories, morgues, and medical examiner/coroner offices
Job outlook: Employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 6 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Scientific and technological advances are expected to increase the usefulness, availability, and reliability of objective forensic information used as evidence in trials. In addition, the use of forensic evidence in criminal proceedings is expected to expand. Popular media has increased the awareness of forensic evidence among potential jurors, and there is now an expectation that forensic evidence should contribute to many trials. More forensic science technicians will be needed to provide timely forensics information to law enforcement agencies and courts.
Career connections: When Gary was asked what he like about his job he said "I get to combine two of my interest: public service and science". Another forensic scientist, Jennifer McDaid, was what she enjoy on her job she said "I enjoy the variety I experience within my working day."
High School Preparation
Extra-curricular Activities: Math team, Creative Writing, and Art Club. Math team helps me expand my diversity by giving me challenging problems that are not even taught yet. Math is beneficial to join because it also helps you with your math skills and gives you the opportunity to test your knowledge. Creative writing is beneficial because by joining it I can be able to know how to write and if you want to be a forensic you need to be able to write reports about your investigation. Art club is beneficial because I don’t know how to draw well and being a forensic means being able to draw the crime scene. By being in Art Club it would help me by becoming a better artist.
Work/volunteer Experience: I can volunteer at being an intern in a science lab. It would help me with being able to recognize important steps to take when doing an experiment. Or volunteer to work in a hospital so that I can see what they do with sick patients and how to treat them.
1. Dr.Brady-Digital Literacy teacher school district #212
2. Ms.Heppler- Global Studies Honors teacher school district #212
3. Mr.Schuett- English I Honors teacher school district #212
Training/Certificate Programs (if application): A range of licenses and certifications are available to help credential and aid in the professional development of many types of forensic science technicians. Certifications and licenses are not typically necessary for entry into the occupation. Credentials can vary widely because standards and regulations vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another.
Internship/Apprenticeship Opportunities: Work as an apprentice or a intern for a medical examiner (someone who investigates dead bodies and figures out how they die)