Forensic Scientist

By Mrs. Abbatacola

Job Description

A forensic scientist uses technological and scientific equipment to process and investigate artifacts and samples taken from crime scenes by crime scene investigators. They use chemical and biological science to help police reconstruct a crime based on limited evidence. In addition, a crime scene investigator spends a large amount of time writing and presenting findings to lawyers, judges, investigators and juries.

Current salary

The typical forensic scientist salary in the best paying jobs make between $65,000 and $72,000 per year, according to 2012 data. For new forensic scientists, the typical forensic scientist salary is between $48,000 and $60,000 per year. Overall, the median in 2010 was $51, 570.

Working conditions

Although television shows like CSI and NCIS give the impression that forensic scientists spend most of their time at crime scenes and doing investigative work, these are primarily scientific laboratory positions. Forensic scientists often do work with district attorneys, private lawyers and investigators, but often through reports on their findings relating to evidence that has been collected by others.

Major job responsibilities

Collecting Evidence

Preserving Evidence

Analyzing Evidence

Collaborating with police officers, prosecutors and other forensic technicians

Job demand in the future

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that forensic scientist careers are expected to increase by 19 percent by the year 2020, which is an average rate of growth.

Education needed

A 4-year degree from an accredited university, usually in the fields of biology or chemistry. After completing a 4-year degree, students should complete either a certification in a forensic field (such as toxicology, serology, etc.), or go on to complete a master?s degree in forensic science.

Forensic Scientist