What Are the Top Employers of Forensic Science Technicians?

According to reports, the number of job opportunities in the field of forensic science will only continue to grow as the judicial system expands and new technology is developed to help convict criminals. However, this is a growing field of study among students as well, so upon graduation, you may have a hard time finding a job. By looking to the top employers for forensic science technicians, you can find more job openings to get started in this kind of career.

Many different organizations hire forensic science technicians, and there are a variety of industries in need of qualified technicians. Knowing what types of companies are in higher demand and hire more technicians is important to gauge your future career. Types of employers that hire the most forensic science techs are as follows:

  • Local Government
  • State Government
  • Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals
  • Investigation and Security Services
  • Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories

One of the top places to look for a job is with state-funded laboratories that work with local police departments and criminal justice agencies to analyze crime scenes and evidence. These laboratories typically work as independent agencies, though some are connected to a specific locale or a specific police department. In more rural areas, some police departments hire forensic science technicians directly. This kind of setting will have you working closely with other personnel to solve cases based on evidence that you analyze.

Forensic laboratories can also be private. Instead of being funded by the state or federal government, these laboratories work independently and often times specialize in a specific type of forensic science. Many work in a sort of consulting capacity with state-funded laboratories when additional help is needed, and they can also work with private investigators and the general public for evidence analysis.

Another forensic science technician employer is the government. Rather than work for a state-funded agency, you can pursue a job directly with the government, working your way up to someday be considered for the FBI or other highly sensitive organizations within the government. These are some of the top forensic science technician positions in the country, as they pay well and come attached with high levels of responsibility. However, they’re also the most competitive in terms of number and quality of applicants, so getting a job in one of these departments isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time, training, education, and experience to be considered for these types of positions.

How to Get a Job as a Forensic Science Technician

The best way to get a job with any of these top employers is to specialize. You need a general basic knowledge of all forensic science, but if you go on to get your master’s degree, doctorate, or even just special certification, you increase your marketability. Become an expert in your specialty, and your services will be in high demand. Having a unique set of skills will help put you ahead of the competition. Some forensic science techs actually go on to start their own consulting firms, essentially working independently on cases across the country based on need. For example, a forensic science technician might specialize in forensic art, working to take decomposing skulls and recreate model faces of what the person may have looked like when alive.

As of 2011, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average annual salary for a forensic science technician was $55,660, with the top 10 percent earning an average of over $84,980. To qualify for these top positions, most commonly found with the federal government and consulting services, consider going back to school today for additional forensics training. There are many ways you can help increase your potential salary. Research which areas pay more, look into additional training and certification, and consider earning a higher degree. Even if you only have your associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you may consider going for a higher degree while continuing to work full time. This will allow you to maintain your income, increase your experience, and go to school full time in order to improve you career potential.

Online Forensic Science and Criminal Justice Degrees

Forensic science, or forensics, is a rapidly growing field of criminal investigation whereby forensic technicians employ their technical skills in the field. To become a forensic scientist, students must obtain at least an associate's degree in fields such as criminal investigation, forensic psychology, criminal justice, and more.

Purdue University — At Purdue University, students can get a forensic science bachelor's degree in two different concentrations: forensic psychology and crime scene investigation. No matter which program you choose, Purdue will quickly prepare you for a career in forensic science.

Colorado Technical University — With the Colorado Technical University BS in criminal justice degree with a concentration in Forensic Investigation, students are awakened to the fascinating world of criminal justice. The curriculum focuses on the human reasonings behind adult and juvenile crimes. Classes cover core topics in information systems and security issues related to operating systems, networks, databases, and software programs.

Liberty University — Liberty University offers two accredited degrees in the field of Forensic Science online in addition to their campus counterparts. Both the Associates and Bachelors programs in Criminal Justice offer an in-depth guide through the investigative process of the justice system. Students will come away with skills, knowledge, and resources they can apply to real-world problems and situations upon graduation.

St. Joseph’s University — The MSCJ in Intelligence and Crime Analysis from St. Joseph’s University is offered online for busy adults who may already have other commitments that keep them out of class during normal hours. The flexible program will give students the skills they need to begin a criminal investigative career after graduation.

American InterContinental University — AICU's justice and forensic science program is designed to be a fast-track course that will help anyone segue into a job as a crime scene forensic science analyst after only one year of schooling.

Walden University — Walden University offers their master's in forensic psychology degree program fully online. Students of this program will gain insights into how forensic psychologists work with the legal system on reducing criminal behavior within a community. A graduate of this program is well-equipped to become a psychologist in a correctional institution, mental health center, psychiatric facility, child welfare agency, and more.

Saint Leo University — Saint Leo University offers a master's degree in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Forensic Science that allows students to study at their own pace as they work their way toward becoming a criminologist or forensic scientist.

Ashford University — Ashford University offers an MSCJ in Forensics, providing an affordable option to students seeking education in the field of criminal justice. This program features a curriculum that explores research and academic knowledge, ethical issues, and practical communication skills of forensic psychology and criminal investigation.

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