Forensic chemistry

by : sabrina cisneros

What is needed to be a forensic chemist?

Becoming a forensic chemist or any kind of forensic scientist begins with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The American Academy of Forensic Science, AAFS, recommends a degree in a scientific field. For forensic chemists, this means a degree in chemistry. In addition to courses in chemistry, aspiring forensic chemists also should take courses in biology, mathematics, including calculus, and English composition.

What is the cost the education needed ?

The average annual out of state cost for a bachelor program in Forensic Science and Technology is $32,355 with an estimated four year degree total cost of $129,420. The most affordable bachelor program is offered by American Public University System at an annual $12,480 out of state total cost. Virginia Commonwealth University is the most popular bachelor program for Forensic Science and Technology with 66 degrees awarded per year.

For two year Forensic Science and Technology associate programs, the average annual cost is $16,946 with an average two year total program cost of $33,892.

Is a specific license or certification required?

yes.The person becoming a forensic chemist has to be certified in public speaking also bio-statistics. The requirements are

  • CHEM 3800 - Forensic Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 4300 - Instrumental Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 4310L - Advanced Analytical Chemistry Lab
  • CRJU 3320 - Criminal Investigation
  • BIOL 3340 - Microbiology
  • BIOL 3338 - Histology
  • CHEM 3398 - Internship
  • CHEM 4100 - Directed Applied Research (on a Forensic-Related Topic)
  • CHEM 3540L - Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory
  • CHEM 4120L - Research Methods Laboratory

Is this transferable to other states?

It honestly depends on the school you will want to transfer to.

Where are jobs in this field - government, education, university research, product

development in business, hospital, rural, International?

  • chemistry, which is connected to crimes against property, such as burglary and arson;
  • biology, which is connected to crimes against people, such as murder, assault and rape;
  • drugs and toxicology.

What is the projected job growth in this field?

The growth in this job they want to see is that the forensic chemist will find out who did the crime and also find out what they are trying to find.

Can this lead to a different job in the chemistry field?

It should give you the science background to work in other science based jobs. Those jobs can include environmental testing, chemical/pharmaceutical/bio pharmaceutical manufacture and development, ecological survey, and food science to name a few. It would be good to take science classes to open you up to one of these backups as it is incredibly difficult and competitive to get a crime lab job. A minimum of a four year degree is required for the forensic jobs listed above, and because of the limited number of jobs and the surplus of qualified applicants for crime labs.

What are the chances of promotions and what is required to earn a promotion?

Job titles for forensic scientists vary by organization. Many law enforcement agencies use a tiered system to classify employees and denote their level of expertise and authority. As they gain experience, they move up to the next level. The Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Science, for example, hires new employees as trainees, promoting them to Forensic Scientist I after one year. At many organizations, a new hire is given the title Forensic Scientist I. They can eventually earn a promotion to the Forensic Scientist II tier, where they can perform work independently. The Forensic Scientist III level is reserved for experts and supervisors.

Would you be required to move to another part of the country for your


it really all depends if you would want to do forensic in another state or if your state has forensic which i highly am positive everything state should because crimes happen all the time.

What is the average starting salary? median salary?

income in the forensic sciences varies greatly depending upon your degree, your actual job, where you work, and how many hours you work. You may never "get rich" but you will have a good income.

How often do you expect raises?

An average of $1,900.00 monthly salary is being offered to a forensic scientist at the start of the employment. Four years of experience can already pay you of $4,558 monthly. This can be increased up to $8,054.00 after long experiences and related training.

Describe the typical work day hours - 9 to 5PM, night shift, weekends, etc.

Is travel required?

A typical day , Some work in forensic laboratories and work 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. Others work out in the field on digs and may work different hours. Still others are "on call" and work after their regular shift and receive overtime or compensatory (comp) time.

Is there a possibility to do some of the work from home?

There is not a great chance you can do this job at home because all the tools you need are in a lab also i would not think someone would want to take bloody stuff to their home.

Describe the type of work you would be expected to perform in this job on a

typical day (at least 5 things)

There typical routine can vary day-to-day usually dependent on the caseload. they usually presented with a couple of case files so it is essential for them to get it clear in their mind and diagnose what the Reporting Officer wants them to look for. then collect the items of evidence. they also do test on the items and write the evidence they found and tell the police officer that is working on the case.

List 3 positive and 3 negative aspects of this job - in your opinion.

3 positive aspects

  1. good income
  2. promotions
  3. in my opinion i would be doing the career i want.

3 negative aspects

  1. no days off
  2. only getting weekends off

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