How to Become a Forensic Scientist

Forensic science has revolutionized the way crimes are solved today, because without the technology that can trace DNA, find fingerprints or match hair, it is hard to find conclusive evidence tying a criminal to a case. This means that the role of a forensic scientist is crucial, because they are in charge of processing all physical evidence found to make that link.
If working behind the scenes in a crime lab interests you, you need to be prepared to get the skills needed to enter this career.

Career Training

In order to be fully prepared for this profession, you need to do your research to know what it demands. The American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) recognizes 10 specialities within the field of forensic science, so for a concentration in a particular area, you should learn more about what is available. Otherwise train for a general degree to learn all aspects of the field.

1. In high school, prepare by already taking as many science courses as possible, particularly in biology and chemistry.

2. You must attend university, and it is generally recommended to get a criminal justice degree such as a forensic science degree, but degrees in biology, chemistry, a physical science or criminalistics should also suffice. With a forensic science degree, you can study online at places like American Intercontinental University or Kaplan University, and you should be sure to take courses in physics, criminalistics, organic, physical and biochemistry, and get significant lab time.

3. Decide if you want a concentration to focus on specialties like fingerprinting, DNA, toxicology or firearms. Bachelors can be earned with concentrations in these areas, or additional certificates can be gained afterwards.

4. Consider getting a graduate degree in forensic science or criminalistics, since many labs now require a masters degree.

Job Description
You will spend your days evaluating, analysing, testing and assessing the physical evidence gathered from the crime scene to recreate the crime, determine the victim and aggressor and help make connections about scenarios and suspects to assist in the capture of the criminal.

You will use state of the art equipment to perform analyses on hair, fiber, weapons, fingerprints, shoeprints, bodily fluids or any other substances found at the scene to collect as much information as possible to help crack the case.

You will then document and present this information to law enforcement and may even be called on to testify in court as an expert witness.

It is meticulous and steady work that is seeing a rise in the number of jobs available due to the ever-increasing amount of technology and developments in the field.

To start off, you may only see a low salary compared to other careers in criminal justice of about $25,000-$40,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but a professional with more experience can earn up to $80,000.

Forensic science is the way of the future and plays a significant role in solving crimes these days, so training as a forensic scientist is the right move to make now to jump on the bandwagon and see the field grow.

Article Source: Forensic Scientist