Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Forensic Science Technicians

Find Schools Near

What You Need to Know About Forensic Science Technicians

Job Description & Duties 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

  • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
  • Examine physical evidence, such as hair, fiber, wood, or soil residues to obtain information about its source and composition.
  • Examine firearms to determine mechanical condition and legal status, performing restoration work on damaged firearms to obtain information, such as serial numbers.
  • Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
  • Review forensic analysts’ reports for technical merit.
  • Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.

What Every Forensic Science Technician Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Forensic Science Technicians say are important on the job.

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.

  • Keeler Polygraph Operator
  • Fingerprint Classifier
  • Digital Forensic Examiner
  • Criminologist
  • Ballistics Expert

Forensic Science Technician Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 15,400 jobs in the United States for Forensic Science Technicians.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 16.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,600 new jobs for Forensic Science Technicians by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,200 yearly job openings in this field per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Forensic Science Technicians are Florida, California, and Texas.

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.

Do Forensic Science Technicians Make A Lot Of Money?

Forensic Science Technicians Make between $34,600 and $97,200 a year. A Forensic Science Technician median salary is $58,230.

Salary Ranges for Forensic Science Technicians

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Illinois

$87,660

California

$85,280

Massachusetts

$79,440

Connecticut

$73,970

New Hampshire

$70,960

Virginia

$70,290

Iowa

$69,820

Nevada

$69,110

Ohio

$67,750

New York

$66,650

Maryland

$66,360

Oregon

$65,560

Michigan

$65,100

Colorado

$64,740

Minnesota

$62,710

New Jersey

$62,700

Indiana

$61,140

Arizona

$60,900

Washington

$60,670

Montana

$59,870

Texas

$59,340

Hawaii

$57,770

Nebraska

$56,470

Wyoming

$55,210

Wisconsin

$53,900

Idaho

$53,120

Florida

$52,810

South Dakota

$51,620

Mississippi

$51,560

Kentucky

$51,560

Missouri

$51,440

Tennessee

$51,090

Kansas

$50,860

Pennsylvania

$50,820

Georgia

$50,600

West Virginia

$50,320

Alabama

$49,990

Maine

$49,780

North Carolina

$47,480

Louisiana

$47,300

South Carolina

$45,070

Arkansas

$42,790

New Mexico

$42,750

What Tools & Technology 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 Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Visio
  • IBM Notes
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software

How to Become 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

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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

  • Fire Investigators

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

  • Chemists
  • Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder has matched thousands of students with colleges.