Forensic Science Careers
Outlook of Jobs for Forensic Science Degrees

Forensic science careers & jobs are rising! Learn why the forensic science employment outlook is positive & why forensic science degrees are worthy investments

Careers in forensic science are many and varied. As one of the fastest growing areas of employment (even through the Great Recession) jobs in forensics have been on the rise for a decade, and show no signs of stopping.

As our understanding of technology and medicine expands, so does our need to have people who can use that information to help in forensics.

If you would like to begin a career in forensic science, today is the perfect day to start.

Articles on Forensic Science Jobs & Careers

Here's a brief look at several forensic science articles that delve a little deeper into the different aspects of your forensic science career outlook.

History of Forensic Science

In the ancient world, there was no application of forensics to aid in legal proceedings.

People relied solely on confessions (many of which were forced) and witnesses (many of which just wanted to tell the people in charge what they wanted to hear). In other words, justice was not served on a regular basis.

The first recorded instance of someone using forensic science to solve a murder was in thirteenth century China.

Through extensive experimentation, a man determined that the weapon used to kill another man was a sickle tool. He rounded up the village's people and their sickles to find out who the murderer was.

From the sixteenth century on, doctors, scientists, and philosophers around the world have been theorizing new practices, devices, and strategies to help crime scene investigations be more precise and exact.

Today, with the digital revolution not too far in our past, we are able to listen a lot more closely to what a crime scene has to say that we ever have before.

Forensic Science Schools

getting an education in forensic science

Students Getting an Education in Forensic Science

You have a great many options for getting your forensic science education.

There are some jobs in the forensics world that don't require much more than a high school diploma or GED.

For most forensic science careers though, employers want you to have a four-year degree from a university, or at least an associate's degree.

If your school offers them, you should think about getting your degree in forensic science, criminology, or criminal justice.

If they don't have those programs, consider studying one of the hard sciences (i.e. biology or chemistry), as these will be necessary for many careers in forensic science.

If you have interest in becoming a DNA analyst or learning more about the unique career path of Forensic DNA scientists, be sure to visit the Association of Forensic DNA Analysts' website. They have loads of information and can put you in touch with forensic professionals who can steer you toward the correct degree plan for you.

If you don't have the time or money to go to a campus-based school, consider going to college online, like I did!

You can earn a four-year degree in much less time, keep your day job and your house, and create your own schedule. Check out these great online schools for more details:

  • Rasmussen College
  • Everest University
  • Kaplan University
  • American InterContinental University

Forensic Science Crime

The role of the forensic scientist is open for interpretation. Because there are so many different specialties within forensics, it's near impossible to say just what exactly a forensic scientist does.

In essence, though, the forensic scientist is tasked with collecting, analyzing, and interpreting evidence through the application of science to aid in a legal investigation.

There are two kinds of investigations that can involve a forensic scientist:

  • Criminal
  • Civil

In the lab, forensic scientists can be used to analyze DNA samples, study serological (blood serum-based) evidence, or even scrutinize fingerprints.

Basically, forensic scientists have some fun jobs!

Forensic Science Degree

Forensic science employment is at an all-time high right now. This means that there's no better time to consider making the career switch than today.

girl proud of diploma

In order get your hands on one of the many forensic science careers, though, you need to fulfill all of the requirements.

And this means getting educated.

You can get a forensic science degree from virtually anywhere in the country; there are far too many colleges and universities to list here.

But bear in mind that you do have options.

While getting your bachelor's degree from a campus-based university may be the more traditional route, you'll find that attending an online college may be more your style.

Online schools offer flexible schedules, fast-track degrees, low tuition, and you can keep your day job..

You have many choices. And the choice is yours.

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

Definition of Forensic Science

Because forensics covers such a broad spectrum of professions and specialties, the definition is a bit general and vague.

  • Definition of Forensic Science: The application of science to aid a legal investigation and proceeding, in both criminal and civil cases.

Forensic Science for Kids

What's more fun than watching a detective solve a mystery on TV? How about doing it yourself?

In this article, I show you a couple of fun activities that hone your kids' detective skills and give them a glimpse of the real world of forensic science careers.

The two activities include:

  • The Family Room Crime Scene
  • Fingerprint Hunt

Forensic Science Jobs

There are many different groups and agencies that can employ you as a forensic scientist, including:

forensic scientist holds evidence

A Forensic Scientist Holds Evidence

  • State and Local labs
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Branches of the Military
  • And many more

And there are a great many forensic science careers offered by these groups and agencies, including:

  • DNA Analysis
  • Fingerprint Technician
  • Firearms Examiner
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Supervisor
  • Autopsy Specialist
  • Etc, etc, etc

The opportunities are virtually endless, which makes this a great time to begin a career in forensic science.

Types of Forensic Science

There are far more types of forensic science than you probably think.

Many people are under the false impression that a forensic scientist is responsible for all fields and specialties that fall under the umbrella term: forensics. This is, of course, untrue.

There are a vast variety of people working in forensics and have successful forensic science careers, such as:

  • Forensic Dentistry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Serology
  • Forensic Pathology

Forensic Science Technician

The forensic science technician is the aid in the crime lab or in the field. He or she is able to help out in a variety of areas of forensics, including:

  • Fingerprint analysis
  • DNA study and comparison
  • Ballistics reporting

A forensic science technician generally makes around $25 an hour and may not require a four-year degree, depending on the capacity in which he or she works with the lab and office.

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