Forensic Science Technician

If helping with criminal investigations excites you, consider becoming a forensic science technician!

  • Nov 23, 2021

Have you watched Forensic Files or any other crime drama wondering what a cool job it is to use the latest and most fascinating procedures to solve crimes?

Are you inquisitive and curious by nature just like the detectives we see on screen? Are you also detail-oriented, organized, and analytical? You may be interested in a career as a forensic science technician!

 

What does a Forensic Science Technician do?

Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. Forensic science technician is a blanket term for those who work in the forensic science field, such as crime scene investigators, who gather and document evidence at a crime scene, and criminalists, who are scientists who mainly work in a lab analyzing evidence.

Many technicians specialize in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. 

 

At crime scenes, forensic science technicians typically do the following:

  • Analyze crime scenes to determine what evidence should be collected and how
  • Take photographs of the crime scene and evidence
  • Make sketches of the crime scene
  • Record observations and findings, such as the location and position of evidence
  • Collect evidence, including weapons, fingerprints, and bodily fluids
  • Catalog and preserve evidence for transfer to crime labs
  • Reconstruct crime scenes

 

In laboratories, forensic science technicians typically do the following:

  • Perform chemical, biological, and microscopic analyses on evidence taken from crime scenes
  • Explore possible links between suspects and criminal activity, using the results of DNA or other scientific analyses
  • Consult with experts in specialized fields, such as toxicology (the study of poisons and their effect on the body) and odontology (a branch of forensic medicine that concentrates on teeth)

 

What Skills does a Forensic Science Technician use at Work?

Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information objectively and develop conclusions. As a forensic science technician, these skills are important for performing accurate analyzes of evidence from crime scenes. Critical-thinking skills also help interpret patterns and trends.

Attention to Detail: Working as a forensic science technician requires you to identify details quickly and be attentive. Being detail-oriented can also help improve your credibility at work. 

Teamwork: Teamwork is the ability to work well with others. Forensic science technicians use these skills extensively and in various situations.

Math: Forensic science technicians also need excellent math skills for workplace success. These qualities are important for collecting, measuring, and documenting physical evidence. They are also useful for conducting proportional analysis.

Communication Skill: As a forensic science technician, you need good written and verbal communication skills to work. Written communication skills are important for creating reports after your investigative efforts. Similarly, verbal communication skills are useful for explaining your findings and testing in court.

 

How To Become a Forensic Science Technician?

If you think you’ve got the necessary skills to excel in the field of forensic science and wish to make a career out of it, here are the most common steps to take:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree: An undergraduate degree is typically the minimum requirement for forensic science technicians. Majors to consider include natural sciences, such as biology, chemistry, or forensic biology. During your undergraduate, learning about algebra, psychology, criminal behaviors, criminal procedures, and ethics in criminal justice can prepare you for a career as a forensic science technician. 
  2. Gain practical experience: Next, you may get an internship at a police department or independent investigation agency.  Doing this can help develop your skills and learn more about working as a forensic science technician. It will also provide you with hands-on experience as you learn the correct procedures for gathering, recording and tracking evidence that prepares you for the proficiency exam and to work on cases independently. 
  3. Earn relevant certifications in forensic science: Some employers may require you to achieve certification during the hiring process. Others may not require it, but you might consider completing a certification program for professional recognition or to further advance your career if you are interested in a role as a supervisor. You may also be required to pass a proficiency exam before beginning to work on your own as a forensic scientist.
  4. Engage in continuing learning: Laboratory technologies and investigative methods are consistently changing and forensic science technicians should be up to date on the latest technologies and methods to ensure they are performing their job properly. Continuing-education courses may be taken in-person or online. You can take courses in evidence analysis, forensic photography, and crime scene investigation to improve your skills.

 

What is the workplace of a Forensic Science Technician like?

Forensic science technicians travel to different locations around a city or region since crimes can occur anywhere. They work staggered day, evening, or night shifts and may have to work overtime because they must always be available to collect evidence.

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