A career in forensic science might sound really boring. But for people who are interested in analysis of things such as blood samples, fingerprints, saliva, drugs, and skeletal remains, this career can be an exciting adventure.
Forensic Science involves analyzing and collecting physical evidence found in a crime scene. This field also requires writing reports, coordinating with law enforcement personnel, and working with attorneys. The work done by forensics is essential to the criminal justice process. Some might think that forensic scientists are not as in-demand as nurses or call center agents, but the growing crime rate worldwide says that it is.
A career in forensic science is suited for people with:
- Passion for science and math
- Classes in law and communication
- Excellent writing and verbal skills
- Excellent hand-eye coordination
- Mentally and emotionally healthy
- Commitment to lifelong learning
- Capable of separating work and personal life
- Attention to details
- Ability to work independently
For entry-level forensic scientists, they must have to complete any of these bachelor’s degrees in forensic science: physics, biology, chemistry, or physical anthropology. Coursework like biology, chemistry, physics, pharmacology, quantitative analysis, and statistics, are also required in this profession. Newly employed scientists often receive training by court observation and practice to supplement their technical skill. Internships are also a big help in starting a career in forensic science by providing early exposure to forensics laboratories, federal agencies and police departments.
Aspiring forensic scientists should pursue a general forensic science degree instead of the highly specialized ones. This will make them more flexible and expose them to many areas of this field. The experience will allow an individual to pick a specialization. They can choose from being a forensic scientist, forensic psychologist or forensic pathologist.
A career in forensic science has you doing a lot of work. Common examples are analyzing samples (hair, drug, body fluids, paint, etc), collecting crime scene evidence, examining crime scenes, presenting written and oral reports, reconstructing an accident or crime scene, testing DNA, examining specimens, developing new techniques, and many more.
Some of the job opportunities are: forensic scientist, fingerprint examiner, forensic analyst, medical examiner, medico-legal investigator, forensic biologist, and forensic anthropologist.
When it comes to compensation, the forensic science field is quite promising. The average yearly salary of forensic science practitioners ranges from $40,000 – $80,000, depending on their position. With competitive pay and an active environment, this field really is rewarding. It requires a dynamic set of skills ranging from medical and crime scene examination, to forensic engineering and crime laboratory analysis.
Though exciting, forensic science is a challenging field which rewards aspiring practitioners who are fully dedicated and committed. They must possess the right education and the proper training. A ten hour marathon of CSI episodes is not enough qualify a person for this career. Forensic science is a serious career. It is not just about medical examinations and investigations; it also deals with law and justice. It helps establish the guilt or innocence of possible suspects. Forensics can find links between crimes that helps law enforcement authorities to establish significant patterns. This is a field which should not be underestimated and, just like other professions, a career in forensic science is in high demand.