Welcome to ForensicScienceColleges.net, where you’ll find out all you need to know about earning a degree in forensic science.
The Top 5 Online Forensic Science Programs of 2014
Start by clicking on any school to get information on each of the top programs.
If you’d like to help investigate and solve crimes by analyzing physical evidence, a career in forensics could be for you. The field of forensic science encompasses many different career paths including those in crime scene investigation (CSI), crime laboratories, and criminal investigations. Narrowing down your aspirations will greatly help you when choosing a forensic science program, so it’s a good idea to think about in what kind of environment you’d like to work before even considering schooling.
For instance, if you’re more interested in laboratory work, you should look at programs that focus on the sciences like biology and chemistry. If you’re looking to get work in the field, you might consider pursuing programs that have a strong criminal justice element as well.
Remember that you may also be eligible for financial aid, so there may be no need to wait until you’re in a better economic position. If you’re ready to get started in forensic science, your first step is to find the right program for you.
What do forensic scientists do?
Forensic scientists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have two distinct job responsibilities: (1) to analyze evidence found at the scene of a crime and (2) to testify in court about the evidence.
Some specific duties of forensic science technicians listed by the BLS include the following:
- DNA analysis
- Firearm examination
- Collection and storage of evidence
- Preparation of reports of findings
- Consultations with experts regarding issues like the time of death or a DNA match
How do I become a forensic scientist?
In order to become a forensic scientist, you will need at least two years’ training in the sciences and/or applied sciences. Many forensic scientists acquire this knowledge by completing an associate degree or bachelor degree. Some common degree fields for forensic scientists include the following:
- Forensic Science
In addition to educational training, employers generally prefer forensic science technicians to have practical experience, which may be part of their training or may be acquired on the job. Generally before working in a laboratory, forensic science technicians should be very familiar with various laboratory equipment and computers.
What characteristics should an aspiring forensic scientist have?
Aside from having a strong interest in science and laboratory work, those who wish to enter this growing profession should possess the follow characteristics:
- Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Organized and detail-oriented
- Strong understanding of and desire to work with laboratory equipment, computers, and related devices
- Good computer skills
- Understanding of how to interpret and analyze scientific results
- Strong analytical thinking skills
What are programs at forensic science colleges like?
As you pursue your degree at one of the many forensic science colleges throughout the country, you’ll learn about the most up-to-date methods and techniques for collecting and analyzing DNA, fingerprints, hair, ballistics, and other physical evidence.
Depending on your career aspirations, you may look toward online associate, bachelor, or master’s degree programs that will help you start down the path to becoming a forensic scientist. As you enter the profession, you will likely start out as a technician under the supervision of more experienced scientists, but over time, you’ll have the possibility of promotions–and online education can help speed up that pace.
A bachelor’s or master’s degree, in particular, can do wonders for your move up the career ladder, and you may even be able to take on more responsibility from the start.
What is the average salary of a forensic science technician?
According to the BLS, as of May 2008, forensic science technicians made a median annual salary of $49,860 with a median hourly wage of $23.97. Most forensic science technicians work in investigation and security services ($58,420), followed by those in medical and diagnostic laboratories ($53,670), and local governments ($53,300).
The highest paying employers of forensic science technicians are the federal executive branch ($90,150); architectural, engineering, and related services ($59,040); and investigation and security services ($58,420).
What is the job outlook for forensic science technicians?
The job outlook for forensic science technicians is excellent, with jobs expected to increase by 20 percent through 2018; this is much faster than average. The BLS notes that positions in state and local government should be plentiful, “driven by the increasing application of forensic science techniques, such as DNA analysis, to examine, solve, and prevent crime.”
Are you ready to begin an exciting career in forensic science? Get started today!