What Kind of Careers Can a Forensic Science Tech Work In?

Getting a degree in forensic science usually takes about four years, and from there, you can go on to study more specialized areas of forensics, like DNA or firearms, in order to get your master’s degree or even doctorate. However, even with just the most general forensics-related degree, you have a number of options when it comes to career paths. Forensic science is very expansive, and there are many different industries that require qualified forensic scientists, as well as many different careers paths one can take. If you are interested in pursuing a higher degree than just your bachelor’s, you will be able to specialize in a particular area, therefore becoming more qualified and marketable to employers. Any additional education and specialization you have will help set you apart from the rest. Here are some of the most popular and more interesting types of jobs you can do if you want a career as a forensic science tech:

  1. Laboratories and Law Enforcement: Many forensic science techs work in laboratories, specializing in certain fields to help analyze a crime scene. This is what you’ll most commonly see on television shows, with a team of scientists working to put the pieces of the crime puzzle together. You could work in a lab specifically dealing with forensics, or in more rural areas, some police forces have their own forensics specialist who does the lab work for all cases. You can also work in this career path in the military or receive special training to apply for a job with the FBI.
  2. Education: If you get your doctorate in forensic science technology, you can become a teacher yourself. Working with a forensic science program, you’ll likely teach in your specialty, preparing new students for the job. With this advanced degree, you are qualified to teach at the college level. Even as a teacher, you will continue learning as the field evolves and advances, so that you can better prepare students for future careers.
  3. Forensic Art: Forensic art is a highly specialized area, but one that has helped to crack cases around the world. Forensic artists recreate faces from skulls and minimal information, work with computer programs to virtually age a picture, create composite images, make animations to help recreate a crime, and do other kinds of imagine to help solve crimes.
  4. Forensic Psychology: One of the most invaluable skills a forensic science tech can have is the ability to profile. With a degree in forensic psychology, you’ll learn about profiling, which can help narrow down your criminal, as well as other skills, relating to interviewing and understanding the motives of crimes.
  5. Environmental Forensics: Environmental forensics is a growing field. This type of forensics is highly involved with chemistry, as well as biology, but deals more with the scene of the crime than with people. Environmental forensic science techs typically get involved with cases dealing with pollution and large corporations.
  6. Forensic Nursing: Not every crime victim dies. When this is the case, forensic nurses are invaluable, as they can provide better care and more insight to the crime than typical nurses. Forensic nurses will talk to patients, record evidence of the crime found on a person, administer rape kits, and otherwise make sure that care for the patient doesn’t conflict with solving the crime.
  7. Pathology and Toxicology: If you want to work in forensics, one of the specialties you can pursue is in pathology and toxicology. These fields deal highly with anatomy and biology, and will have you studying disease, drugs, and toxins in the body. This is an alternative career to becoming a coroner, though in many cases, the coroner does take on the role of pathologist and toxicologist.

These aren’t by any means the only career paths you can take with a bachelor’s degree in forensic science. Your specialty can lead you to many different jobs, so it is important to always continue with your education so you qualify for better positions with more responsibility. Continuing to advance your education and training will help keep you competitive in the field and keep you up-to-date with any changes and advances made within the field.

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.

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.

University of New Haven — University of New Haven's investigator masters program is designed to be a fast-track masters program that will help anyone segue into a job as a crime scene investigator 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.

Keiser University — Keiser University’s Associate of Science degree in Crime Scene Technology prepares students with competencies in the areas of locating, preserving, developing, collecting, analyzing and presenting physical evidence utilizing modern methods used in the field and laboratory for forensic identification.

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.

Northcentral University — Northcentral University offers a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology, providing an affordable option to students seeking education in the field of forensic psychology. 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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