Become a Computer Forensics Investigator
Job Description & Salary

Want to become a computer forensics investigator? Then prepare for a great salary & fun work. Learn more with our computer forensics detective job description

As the digital age progresses, more crime is being committed with computers and other electronic media. As a computer forensics investigator, it will be your job to help the CSI team prevent and track down these crimes.

The four main functions of the computer forensics investigator involve identifying, recovering, analyzing, and reporting on your findings of digital evidence.

But if you thought all computer forensics investigation specialists work for the police or FBI, you might be surprised.

People who work in this field can be employed in a great number of different capacities and for a variety of organizations and institutions.

As a computer forensics investigator you might work with:

  • Law Enforcement (police, sheriff's department, FBI, etc.)
  • Military (intelligence gathering)
  • Finance (working to prevent and find evidence of financial crimes)
  • Consultation (working for private companies)
  • Education (teaching or training those interested in the same career)

Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

In order to get a job as a computer forensics investigator, you need to first become qualified.

There are several ways to do this, but the most popular is by getting one of various certificates. Some people go to college and get degrees in computer science or forensic science. This is a great way to make yourself more marketable in the industry, but it's not completely necessary.

There are many forms of certification you can receive, and even more ways to get it.

You can go to a private institution for training, you can take correspondence courses, or you can receive certification online. Going the online route is one of the quicker, cheaper, and more popular options.

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

Here are three of the many types of certification you can receive to get work as a computer forensics investigator:

  • CCE Certification - Certified Computer Examiner
  • EnCE Certification Program - Certification in the use of EnCase--a first rate computer forensics program.
  • CFCE Certification - Certified Forensic Computer Examiner

Whether you decide to get a degree or certificate, the point is that you need to be knowledgeable in today's best ways to investigate computer crime. This is an ever-evolving criminal industry and the people in charge of preventing it must be on the cutting edge.

Computer Forensics Investigator Salary

As opposed to some of the other crime scene investigator team members, the computer forensics specialist makes a pretty decent paycheck.

You can typically expect to make anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000 per year doing this job. The work you do is incredibly specialized, and so it affords a better salary than regular technicians and analysts.

And if you decide to work in the private sector, you can make even more money.

Computer Forensics Private Investigator: The Consulting Life

After you've gained a few years of on-the-job experience working for law enforcement, the military, finance, or other institutions, you can try your hand at the consulting life.

Consulting is like working as a free agent.

As a computer forensics private investigator, you can pick and choose the clients you work for and never have to be tied down to a certain employer. You can start your own consulting business or you can become a part of a larger company that assigns you cases.

So what's the benefit of choosing the consulting life over law enforcement or military work?

How about a boatload of money?

Private or consulting computer forensics investigators tend to make far more than those who work in the public sector. A consultant can expect to make anywhere from $250 to $600 an hour!

But these consultants are able to charge so much because they have plenty of experience. So before you can find your way into the private sector, you need to gain plenty of experience as a computer forensics investigator in the public setting.

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