Forensic biologists: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Forensic science technicians who work primarily in laboratories may specialize in the natural sciences or engineering. These workers, such as forensic biologists and forensic chemists, typically use chemicals and laboratory equipment such as microscopes when analyzing evidence. They also may use computers to examine DNA, substances, and other evidence collected at crime scenes. They often work to match evidence to people or other known elements, such as vehicles or weapons. Most forensic science technicians who perform laboratory analysis specialize in a specific type of evidence, such as DNA or ballistics.

Education Required
Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a natural science, such as chemistry or biology, or in forensic science. Forensic science programs may specialize in a specific area of study, such as toxicology, pathology, or DNA. Students who enroll in general natural science programs should make an effort to take classes related to forensic science. A list of schools that offer degrees in forensic science is available from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Many of those who seek to become forensic science technicians will have an undergraduate degree in the natural sciences and a master’s degree in forensic science.
Training Required
Forensic science technicians receive on-the-job training before they are ready to work on cases independently.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 17% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Licenses/Certifications
A range of licenses and certifications is available to help credential, and aid in the professional development of, many types of forensic science technicians. Certifications and licenses are not typically necessary for entry into the occupation. Credentials can vary widely because standards and regulations vary considerably from one jurisdiction to another.
Median pay: How much do Forensic Science Technicians make?
$56,750 Annual Salary
$27.29 per hour

Careers for Forensic Science Technicians

  • Ballistic technicians
  • Ballisticians
  • Ballistics experts
  • Ballistics technicians
  • Crime lab technicians
  • Crime scene investigators
  • Crime scene technicians
  • Criminalist technicians
  • Criminalists
  • Digital forensics analysts
  • Evidence technicians
  • Fingerprint experts
  • Forensic computer examiners
  • Forensic photographers
  • Handwriting experts
  • Latent print examiners
  • Medicolegal investigators
  • Property and evidence custodians
  • Trace evidence technicians
  • Wildlife forensic geneticists

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