Do you possess great attention to detail, inquisitiveness, and a desire to serve the public? Would you like to enter a field that not only pays well, but is also seeing a rapid increase in the creation of jobs? If you can answer yes to the above questions, you may want to consider becoming a forensic investigator.
Forensic investigators (also known as forensic science technicians) investigate crime scenes from the ground up, collecting and analyzing physical evidence. They perform tests on materials that may prove germane to an investigation, file reports documenting their findings, and occasionally even testify in court. Forensic investigators may work with other experts in order to place their findings in context.
Educational requirements for the aspiring forensic investigator
Forensic investigators typically enter the work force with a bachelor’s degree in either forensic science or another natural science. Some courses typically found in a forensic science curriculum include:
- Organic chemistry
- Crime scene investigation
- Criminal justice
Some schools facilitate internship programs that allow students to receive hands-on training at a local company while completing their classroom hours at the regular university. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), participation in such programs can significantly bolster your employment prospects.
Forensic investigators should be good at science and math, and possess a real love for the step-by-step process of working toward a goal. A strong sense of justice also helps, as this brand of work requires dogged perseverance.
Experts in this field usually train to work in one speciality, such as DNA testing, speech, or engineering.
Job outlook and salary information for careers in forensic investigation
The BLS has excellent news for those considering the field of forensic science. Jobs for forensic investigators are expected to increase by a staggering 20%: much faster than average for all occupations. This prodigious growth can be attributed to state and local governments’ increasing reliance upon forensic techniques to solve crime. Candidates with highly developed technical skills who hold diplomas in an applied science should find themselves well-prepared to take advantage of this booming job market.
The top-paying states for this occupation are dispersed quite evenly throughout the country, and include, in order of descending mean annual wage, Illinois, Virginia, California, Connecticut, and Michigan.
Regardless of where you call home, the field of forensic science holds exciting prospects for talented and experienced individuals. Enroll in a forensic investigation program now to take advantage of these excellent job opportunities.