DUTIES OF A FORENSIC SCIENTIST?
A Forensic Scientist analyzes and investigates the criminal evidence by employing the use of various scientific tools and techniques. If you want to know what general duties a forensic scientist usually carries out then here is a quick inventory of the duties of forensic scientist. A forensic scientist usually:
- Do post mortem analysis of the body
- Collects evidence from crime scene
- Take pictures and make videos of the crime scene
- Prevents crime scene contamination
- Identify important clues and record them
- Make notes of the status quo of the crime scene
- Analyze the blood spatter patterns
- Investigate and find the trace of materials like drugs in body fluids like blood and urine
- Testify in court trials and hearings
- Provide paperwork for their investigation and results
- Explain events by reconstructing them using the evidences
REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A FORENSIC SCIENTIST?
If you are not familiar with the requirements that every candidate aiming to become a forensic scientist must fulfill then relax. Here is a list of a few requirements that everyone thinking of becoming a forensic scientist must meet. A forensic scientist:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Must have a High School Diploma or GED
- Must have a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or other related field
- Must have a minimum three year experience in the laboratory as a forensic scientist
- Should have grip on blood spatter analysis
- Should have a strong heart to become the first hand witness of serious and major crime scenes like murder crime scenes.
- Must have a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
- Must be available to work long, unusual hours even on public holidays
STEPS TO BECOME A FORENSIC SCIENTIST?
If you are thinking of pursuing your career as a forensic scientist in the future then here is a step by step guide to help you understand the process of becoming a forensic scientist.
First of all, one must pass High School with ideal grades in science subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics as well as Statistics. Then one must secure a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, biology, chemistry or other related fields. It is extremely important to choose the right degree program as only a few degrees allow one to become a forensic scientist. Bachelor of Science in Genetic Engineering with a concentration in Forensic Science, Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry, and Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology are few of the degrees that one can pursue.
When one has finally secured the degree one should look for internship or apprenticeship opportunities under the supervision of a senior forensic scientist. This will help the new graduate to learn how to practically apply the skills and techniques which one learnt in college. After completing the internship one can apply for the job.
When one has finally completed the degree, one has to acquire the professional certification by The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, founded with support from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. The certification includes written as well as practical tests which one has to pass in order to pursue his career.
When one has completed the undergraduate degree as well as acquired the professional certification, one can definitely apply for a job in police station and other law enforcement agencies. If one wants his job application to stand out from the rest of the applications, one can also pursue a graduate degree or a Master’s degree or a Doctorate in forensic science as well. The advanced degree will help in acquiring a good job with better wages as well. In addition to that, having an advanced degree in forensic science can surely help you to jump ranks as well.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A FORENSIC SCIENTIST?
One enters the college to pursue the bachelor’s degree in forensic science after completing the High School Diploma or GED. It takes four years to graduate from the college with the forensic degree. Afterwards it takes one year to complete the apprenticeship under the senior forensic scientist. Hence, it takes around 5 years to become a forensic scientist in United States of America.
HOW MUCH DOES A FORENSIC SCIENTIST USUALLY EARN?
The average per annum pay of a professional Forensic scientist is $58,230 according to the facts and figures provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.