Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Forensic Science Technician - Job Description and Requirements

With the growing importance of technology in crime solving, law enforcement is increasingly turning to a the skills of a forensic science technician to solve today's most difficult crimes. Beginning a career in forensic sciences requires that you earn a degree from an accredited school to give you the skills necessary to work in this growing field.

Since forensic technicians provide professional collection and analysis of crime scene evidence, it is necessary to obtain specialized scientific training. While the job requirements will vary depending on the local or state agency you are employed by, in general technicians are expected to have an associates or bachelor's degree with a focus in chemistry, biology, or, ideally, forensic science.

As the field becomes more competitive, the growing number of dedicated forensic science degree paths can give you an advantage over applicants with general scientific training. Further, you'll want to ensure you have some work experience in scientific law enforcement, as well as research training in a forensic lab. In a lab setting, you'll require a variety of skills that you develop in coursework ranging from organic chemistry to statistics.

You will be expected to conduct DNA, fingerprint, handwriting and tissue sample analysis, as well as ballistics measurement using specialized equipment. In addition to measurement, reporting of result is a core part of the career, and you should be prepared to present laboratory evidence in a scientific manner.

Outside of the lab, forensic science technicians are expected to bring a working knowledge of law enforcement structure. It's important to gain educational and practical experience with the criminal justice field, as you'll be working closely with government agencies ranging from prosecutors to police offices and private laboratories.

In order to develop this set of skills, it is highly recommended that you supplement your scientific coursework with courses in law, criminal justice and political science, all of which will help reinforce your broader skill set. Working directly with a law enforcement agency as an intern will give you the necessary hands on skills that will allow you to begin working as a technician. No matter how impressive your scientific skills are, you will ultimately be judged by the quality of your work product, including your interactions with government officials.

Familiarity with the court case process will help you to work with the entire agency and allow you to transition to a career as a professional technician with relative ease. Seek a balance course load that prepares you for all aspects of your forensic career, and you'll be in a strong position when applying for a technical position. Louis Zhang,

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