Forensic Scientist Salary

The prospect of earning a generous salary attracts many people into the field of forensic science. However, it is important to take into account that the amount of salary you will bring in as a forensic scientist will vary with your specialization, geographic location, level of education and years of experience.

The most up-to-date information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the average hourly earnings of a forensic science technician was $21.79 per hour. Forensic science technicians ranked third in hourly earnings out of a list of eight different science technician careers tracked by the federal government. They earned significantly more per hour than chemical technicians; environmental science and protection technicians, including health; biological technicians; agricultural and food science technicians and forest and conservation technicians.

The average annual earnings of forensic science technicians were determined to be $49,860, but the top 10 percent of forensic science technicians earned more than $80,330. Even the lowest paid 10 percent did not do too poorly, bringing in less than $30,990, according to the Bureau’s calculations.

Five industries employ the most forensic scientists, which include local government; state government; psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals; investigation and security services; and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Out of those five industries, investigation and security services paid the highest mean wages at $58,420 a year and medical and diagnostic labs paid the second highest annual mean wage on average at $53,670, the Bureau calculated.

The five top-paying industries overall for forensic science technicians, while not employing near as many people, are the federal executive branch (OES designation); architectural, engineering and related services; investigation and security services; management, scientific and technical consulting services; and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Pay in the federal executive branch blows the others out of the water when it comes to pay with a $90,150 annual mean wage. The second top paying industry by annual mean wage is architectural, engineering and related services at $59,040, the Bureau noted.

The five states where forensic science technicians were paid the most were, in order from most to least, were: Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Kansas, Connecticut and California, the Bureau asserts.

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