A forensic science technician handles evidence from crime scenes for police departments. These technicians are essential in helping to catch and convict suspects in criminal matters. Forensic science technicians collect evidence and analyze the evidence in a laboratory and summarize their findings in written reports. They often testify in court, particularly if they have specialized areas of expertise such as fingerprinting, biochemistry, DNA analysis, blood spatter patterns, chromatography analysis, or handwriting analysis. Forensic science technicians may work for local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, crime labs, the coroner’s office, and hospitals. Techs may also offer their expertise as independent forensic science consultants. A forensic science technician may work in the field, in the laboratory, and in a legal setting.
The starting salary for a forensic science technician is not known. This is because the cost of living varies in each state and county, which affects the wages that employers offer. In addition, it depends on the degree level of a person hired, as well as his or her field of study.
The starting salary for forensic science technician can be between $42,000 and $45,000 annually. Depending on the employer, a forensic science technician may receive benefits like health insurance and sick days. If the training is provided by a Federal agency then the employee will have access to leave with pay as well as any bonuses that are available to employees.
Starting Salary For Forensic Science Technician Overview
If you’re looking to become a forensic science technician, it’s important to know what kind of education and training you’ll need. The field is growing rapidly, and there are lots of different types of forensic science technicians.
Forensic science technicians are highly trained and experienced professionals who provide vital services to the criminal justice system. These workers work in a variety of settings, including crime scene investigations, hospitals, morgues, and laboratories. They collect evidence, analyze it, and present their findings to the court system or law enforcement agencies.
Forensic science technicians help law enforcement professionals investigate crimes by collecting evidence at crime scenes. They can work in many different types of careers, including police departments and crime labs.
The job requires a lot of physical labor, so it’s important that you’re physically fit before entering this career. You’ll also need to have good interpersonal skills because you need to be able to work with other people on the same team.
The best way to become a forensic science technician is through an associate degree program in criminal justice or forensic science technology. These programs can take about two years to complete, depending on whether or not you attend full-time or part-time classes. Some schools offer online options as well.
You’ll learn about all aspects of forensics during these programs—from how evidence is collected and analyzed at crime scenes, how DNA testing works and much more!
After graduating from one of these programs, there are many different jobs available for those who want
What Is A Forensic Science Technician?
Forensic science technicians play a critical role in criminal investigations. They may collect evidence at crime scenes or process evidence in a laboratory. Their findings are used to help determine who committed the crime and may be presented in court after someone is charged with the crime. Tasks they may be responsible for can include photographing or sketching the crime scene or collecting evidence.
Those who work in a lab will use chemistry, biology, and microscopes to perform tests on samples from the crime scene to identify DNA or other evidence that may have been left by the perpetrator. Some technicians even work with digital evidence to help solve computer-based crimes.
What Do Forensic Science Technicians Do?
As a forensic science technician, you would compile evidence and use it to solve crimes. You might choose to focus on DNA analysis, firearm examination or testing of weapons or substances. You would gather evidence from the scene of a crime and use the correct procedures to preserve clues. You might also take pictures of evidence, collect fingerprints, visit morgues and examine crime scenes to find clues and information.
By examining the evidence, you would figure out how it is significant to the reconstructed crime scene and report your discoveries, laboratory techniques and investigative methods to officials. As a forensic science technician, you might contribute your expert opinion during a trial as a witness, describing how you came to your conclusions.
Average Forensic Science Salary
Forensic Science Technician’s salary depends on their education, their experience, their geographic location, private sector or government employee, and their reputation within the industry. As such, like with any other industry, the pay scale a forensic scientist will earn will range in accordance with their skills and experience. If you are going to get involved with this career path, you could earn a salary that fits into the range below:
Lowest 10% made less than $32,900
Median Wage was $51,570 (May 2010)1, $55,660 (May 2011)2
Top 10% earned more than $82,990
As specified, the salary information doesn’t include an exact salary for those who fall within the lowest tier range and the upper tier range. Thus, depending on your ability to market yourself within this chosen field you could make less than $32,900 per year, or you could earn above 82,990 per year. This creates an excellent opportunity for a forensic science technician to earn a better salary as they mature in their professional work experience.
Forensic Science Salary by Industry
You may find employment in many different industries while working as a forensic scientist. Some of those industries include:
Local Government: Median Income: $54,990
State Government: Median Income: $54,550
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals: Median Income: $67,310
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation): Median Income: $95,240
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services: Median Income: $62,710
Forensic Science Salary by Degree
Theoretically, a higher college education should provide you with a higher forensic science salary. Research suggests that this may not be the case though, at least not at this time. Here are some of the most common forensic science degrees in the country, along with the money people make with those degrees after graduation:
Salary by Similar Job Occupations4
Biochemists and Biophysicists: Median Income: $79,390
Chemists and Materials Scientists: Median Income: $69,790
Medical Scientists: Median Income: $76,700
Police and Detectives: Median Income: $55,010
Private Detectives and Investigators: Median Income: $42,870
Forensic Science Salary by Location
Some areas of the country have better paying work for forensic scientists than others. Here are some fo the top paying states for forensic scientists in the country3:
(1) Washington, D.C.: Annual Mean Wage – $74,050
(2) Illinois: $44,020 – $102,280
(3) Washington: $36,280 – $72,100
(4) California: $42,530 – $104,930
(5) Virginia: $37,320 – $103,870
(6) Conneticut: $47,930 – $87,080
(6) Conneticut: $38,220 – $76,800
Forensic Science Technician Salary by Top Metropolitan Areas3
In our previous section, we provided statistics regarding the salary of employees in this field per top paying states, now we will provide the annual mean wage of salaries within some of the top cities (more options for higher paying salaries in CA):
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Division: $79,930
Springfield, IL: 76,540
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Division: 76,060
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $75,390
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Division: $72,080
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA: $65,680
The information above provides any person desiring to be a Forensic Science Technician with enough information to potentially know what they will earn in this career. If you should decide to pursue this career, then take the opportunity to learn more, and potentially locate, research, what schools will offer you the best educational experience to help you obtain your vocational goals.
Steps for Becoming a Forensic Science Technician
To become a forensic science tech, there are several key requirements. Forensic science techs typically have abachelor’s degree, or an acceptable combination of education and experience; applicants who have graduated from applied sciences technology programs and who have been extensively trained on using laboratory equipment will have an edge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vast majority of aspiring forensic science technicians hold bachelor’s degrees in the natural sciences and a master’s degree in forensic science. If you are interested in becoming a forensic science technician, you should expect to follow steps similar to the ones below:
- Acquire the education and/or experience needed for a forensic science technician job.
- Apply for a job as a forensic science technician.
- Undergo a background check.
- Be drug tested.
- Be interviewed.
- Get hired as a forensic science tech.
- Be trained on-the-job once hired.
Where do forensic science technicians get paid the most? ›
The states and districts that pay Forensic Science Technicians the highest mean salary are Illinois ($90,330), California ($90,300), Massachusetts ($84,740), New York ($81,370), and Oregon ($81,340).Do forensic scientists get paid well? ›
The salaries of Forensic Scientists in the US range from $13,429 to $357,074 , with a median salary of $65,075 . The middle 57% of Forensic Scientists makes between $65,077 and $162,309, with the top 86% making $357,074.What are 3 daily tasks that a forensic science technician may be expected to perform? ›
- Analyze crime scenes to determine what evidence should be collected and how.
- Take photographs of the crime scene and evidence.
- Make sketches of the crime scene.
- Record observations and findings, such as the location and position of evidence.
A medical investigator, or forensic science technician, is a type of forensic scientist employed to investigate deaths that are suspicious or the causes of which are unknown. They collect and analyze physical evidence, compile reports and often testify in court.How much is the starting pay of a forensic scientist? ›
Forensic Scientist Salary By Experience
Entry-level: (less than one year): $49,233 (57 respondents) Early-career: (one to four years) $55,153 (123 respondents) Mid-career: (five to nine years): $65,198 (56 respondents) Experienced: (10 to 19 years): $79,105 (48 respondents)
- Cardiologist. $353,970.
- Anesthesiologist. $331,190.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. $311,460.
- Emergency Medicine Physician. $310,640.
- Orthopedic Surgeon, Except Pediatric. $306,220.
- Dermatologist. $302,740.
- Radiologist. $301,720.
- Surgeon, All Other. $297,800.
An entry level forensic scientist (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of ₱443,239. On the other end, a senior level forensic scientist (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of ₱760,914.What is the monthly income of a forensic scientist? ›
Forensic Scientist Salaries in India
The national average salary for a Forensic Scientist is ₹29,495 in India.
How much does a Forensic Scientist make? As of Dec 10, 2022, the average monthly pay for a Forensic Scientist in the United States is $5,432 a month.What skills do you need to be successful in forensic science? ›
- Critical thinking (quantitative reasoning and problem solving).
- Decision making.
- Good laboratory practices.
- Observation and attention to detail.
- Computer proficiency.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Public speaking.
What is another name for a forensic science technician? ›
Generalist forensic science technicians, sometimes called criminalists or crime scene investigators, collect evidence at the scene of a crime and perform scientific and technical analysis in laboratories or offices.How many hours a week do forensic scientists work? ›
Forensic scientists employed by government agencies and laboratories typically work 40 hours each week, but they're often required to work overtime to meet deadlines.
Science technicians take on a wide range of tasks at work, which usually include some of the following: maintaining equipment. constructing and modifying apparatus. setting up experiments.What benefits do forensic science technicians have? ›
- Helping public safety. Forensic scientists are an important part of public safety. ...
- Continuing expert study. ...
- A challenging work environment. ...
- Job security. ...
- Potentially exciting work. ...
- Detailed work. ...
- Diverse career opportunities. ...
- Good salary and job outlook.
A forensic science degree takes either two or four years to complete and prepares graduates for various careers. Specific outcomes depend on the chosen concentration. Potential concentrations include forensic anthropology, digital forensics, and forensic toxicology.How to become forensic scientist? ›
Forensic science involves the following procedure:
- Examination of the physical evidence.
- Administration of the test.
- Interpretation of the data.
- Concise conclusion.
How much does a Forensic FBI make? As of Oct 20, 2022, the average annual pay for a Forensic FBI in the United States is $86,155 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $41.42 an hour.What is the lowest paying job? ›
- Food-Preparation Workers. ...
- Gambling Dealers. ...
- Gambling Change Persons and Booth Cashiers. ...
- Parking Lot Attendants. ...
- Non-Farm Animal Caretakers. ...
- Maids and Housekeepers. ...
- Entertainment Attendants and Related Workers. ...
- Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders.
1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chief Executive Officer is one of the highest paying jobs in the world. The average salary of a CEO in India is around Rs.What is the #1 job in America? ›
Here are the best jobs of 2023:
Software Developer. Nurse Practitioner. Medical and Health Services Manager. Physician Assistant.
Is forensics a good career? ›
Is forensic science a good career? Many people find careers in forensic science rewarding and fulfilling, as they work with law enforcement to solve crimes. The BLS projects 14% job growth for forensic technicians between 2018 and 2028.What is the entrance exam for forensic science? ›
The All India Forensic Science Entrance Test (AIFSET-2023) is a national level entrance test to enrol into the forensic science courses of it's various participating universities. Candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in this field can apply to the course through this examination.What is in forensic science? ›
Forensic science is the use of scientific methods or expertise to investigate crimes or examine evidence that might be presented in a court of law. Forensic science comprises a diverse array of disciplines, from fingerprint and DNA analysis to anthropology and wildlife forensics.Is it hard to study forensic science? ›
Forensic science can be difficult for those who have difficulty with: Organic chemistry, biology, math, microbiology, etc, Plus, you need to have the guts to handle a decomposing body. It's an entire field of study. If it was easy I'd have my PhD in every aspect of it by now.Is being a forensic scientist worth it? ›
Forensic science is a good career for individuals who would like to collect and analyze evidence using scientific methods in order to solve crimes. Forensic scientists earn 26% more per year than most other professionals. Within the next 10 years, job growth for forensic scientists is projected at 16%.Do you need to pass an exam to be a forensic scientist? ›
Professional Certification for a Forensic Scientist
Typically, professional certification involves certain experience and educational requirements, and most require people to pass an examination before certification is accomplished. Some of the certification boards are: The American Board of Forensic Toxicology.
Communication: Evidence technicians need excellent or communication skill to testify about their finding in court and excellent written communication skill to write reports. Attention to detail: Evidence technicians need to notice the smallest of details when looking for, collecting and analyzing evidence.What do forensic technicians wear? ›
Protective equipment may include gloves, goggles/face masks, booties, and jumpsuits; a hair covering or hairnet is needed to prevent hair from getting mixed up in crime scene evidence. In areas with a chemical contamination risk, a CSI may wear an encapsulated suit with a breathing apparatus.Do forensics carry guns? ›
Some forensic psychologists carry firearms, some do not. Forensic psychologists, doing work in the field, will generally tend to carry firearms, provided that they are in a high-crime region, are conscious about their personal safety, or a combination of both.What is the second highest paying job in forensics? ›
- Forensic Engineer. Salary range: $79,000-$121,500 per year. ...
- Forensic Analyst. Salary range: $55,000-$114,000 per year. ...
- Latent Print Examiner. Salary range: $47,500-$84,000 per year. ...
- Forensic Specialist. ...
- Forensic Science Technician. ...
- Fingerprint Technician.
Do forensic scientists get paid well in USA? ›
How much does a Forensic Scientist make? As of Jan 4, 2023, the average monthly pay for a Forensic Scientist in the United States is $5,436 a month.Where do forensic science technicians work? ›
Forensic science technicians typically work at forensic laboratories and crime scenes. While they may analyze evidence during regular nine-to-five hours, forensic science technicians may need to visit crime scenes whenever required. You may also need to travel to collect evidence from or work out of an office.