Types of Crime Scene Investigators
Salary & Job Description of CSIs

Interested in becoming a CSI? Learn the types of crime scene investigators, the job description of CSIs, & the average criminal investigator salary.

Professional CSIs are people who work hard in an attempt to find out the who, what, when, where, and why of a crimes based on science, chemistry, and detection.

They examine evidence, victims, and environments for clues about the crime, including:

  • Who may have committed the crime
  • With what materials the crime was committed
  • When the crime took place
  • And anything else of any relevance to the investigation

Unlike what you see on popular television shows today, CSIs do not do all of the jobs of the crime lab. There are different, specific focuses and specialties within the department.

In fact, the term 'crime scene investigators' covers a whole range of law enforcement employees and not just one group of people.

CSIs can be technicians, scientists, chemists, pathologists, detectives, patrollers, or any number of other workers who help determine what happened at a crime scene.

Types of Crime Scene Investigators

As mentioned above, crimianl investigators are made up of a vast variety of different professionals who all work together toward a common goal: namely, moving an investigation towards a conclusion.

Some of the many CSIs who work on any given case include:

csis at crime scene

CSIs Arrive at a Crime Scene

  • Forensic Specialist
  • Crime Scene Technician
  • Forensic Drug Analyst
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Forensic Operations Manager
  • Identification Technician
  • Firearms Technician
  • Police Evidence Technician
  • DNA Analyst
  • Toolmark Examiner
  • Forensic Chemist
  • Superivising Forensic Scientist
  • Special Operations Deputy Director
  • Crime Scene Unit Supervisor
  • Criminalist Supervisor
  • Crime Laboratory Quality Officer
  • Fingerprint Manager

For all the different kinds of crime scene examiners out there, there are some basic personality types that work the best. If you are hard-working, focused on details, and are able to get along well with a team, you may have just what it takes.

As much as the movies and television might say otherwise, law enforcement is not at all the right environment for lone wolf types who like to work alone and don't play by the rules.

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Determination, perseverance, hard work, and attention are the key ingredients to a successful future working as one of the great crime scene investigators.

Crime Scene Investigators Salary

Because CSIs are made up of such a variety of different specialists and professionals, the salary range is also quite wide.

The low end of the range covers positions like technicians and assistants, while the upper echelons are made up of criminalists and medical examiners.

Here's a look at just a few of the different average salaries of some of the various crime scene examiners on the job:

  • Forensic Autopsy Technician - $4,000 to $5,000 per month
  • Crime Scene Technician - $20 to $22 per hour
  • Crime Scene Analyst - $32 to $37 per hour
  • Firearms Examiner - $2,000 to $5,000 per month
  • Forensic Scientist - $35,000 to $52,000 per year
  • Forensic Print Analyst - $45,000 to $67,000 per year
  • Forensic Biologist - $46,000 to $64,000 per year
  • Crime Lab Director - $58,000 to $76,000 per year
  • Chief Medical Examiner - $145,000 to $232,000 per year

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

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