Career Overview: Forensics Technician
Forensic technicians are responsible for collecting and analyzing evidence at a crime scene. Proper handling and packaging of evidence is an important skill that is needed for this job. The evidence then goes to the lab, where a forensics technician may look for DNA matches, may analyze bullets or bullet fragments to determine their source; or may analyze many types of material such as hair, fiberglass, wood or other fragments that may be pertinent to an investigation.
A forensics technician must be capable of assembling a straightforward, articulate report and may expect to be called to the witness stand in many of the cases that are investigated.
Forensic technicians generally need a bachelors degree in forensic science to enter the field. Occasionally a background in biology or a related science plus extensive lab experience will provide entry level access to the position.
There were 267,000 science technicians of every sort working in this country in 2007. Only 13,000 of them were forensic scientists, although it is likely that forensic studies may be outsourced by law enforcement organizations with no internal resources.
Jobs for forensic technicians are expected to increase much faster than any other science technician position. Employment growth in state and local government will be driven by the new lines of evidence developed by the use of increasingly sophisticated lab procedures. Forensic science professionals will have excellent job prospects with any of the three levels of government.
Lowest 10% $14.03 $29,170
Median Salary $22.92 $47,680
Highest 10% $36.75 $76,440
Source: U.S. Department of Labor