Life As a Forensic Science Technician
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.
Forensic Science Technician Responsibilities
- Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
- Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
- Interpret laboratory findings or test results to identify and classify substances, materials, or other evidence collected at crime scenes.
- Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
- Compare objects, such as tools, with impression marks to determine whether a specific object is responsible for a specific mark.
- Review forensic analysts’ reports for technical merit.
Forensic Science Technician Skills
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.
Types of Forensic Science Technician
- Criminalist Technician
- DNA Examiner (Deoxyribonucleic Acid Examiner)
- Digital Forensic Examiner
- Forensic Technologist
Is There Going to be Demand for Forensic Science Technicians?
In the United States, there were 15,400 jobs for Forensic Science Technician in 2016. 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.
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.
Salary for a Forensic Science Technician
The average yearly salary of a Forensic Science Technician ranges between $34,600 and $97,200.
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|
What Tools & Technology do Forensic Science Technicians Use?
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 or degrees do I need to become a Forensic Science Technician?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Forensic Science Technician?
Who Employs Forensic Science Technicians?
The table below shows the approximate number of Forensic Science Technicians employed by various industries.
Those thinking about becoming a Forensic Science Technician might also be interested in the following careers:
Career changers with experience as a Forensic Science Technician sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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