Forensic specialists work with crime scenes and specialize in collecting or analyzing forensic evidence. Some forensic specialists spend their days out in the field with an investigative team, scouring crime scenes for traces of blood or stray fibers. Other forensic specialists spend their days in the laboratory conducting various tests on evidence, such as DNA testing and chemically testing residues left behind.
No matter their exact duties, forensic specialists need to have a background in criminal investigations in order to identify how evidence can fit into an investigative team's case. They also need a keen attention to detail to spot potential evidence and anomalies in an analysis.
Most forensic specialists get a bachelor's or master's degree in criminal justice and extensive coursework in science. It also helps if they have some professional experience working in a laboratory, for example as an intern or assistant. On average, forensic specialists earn a salary of $47,690 a year. The demand for forensic specialists is expected to grow by 14% by 2028.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a forensic specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.0 an hour? That's $49,923 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 2,400 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many forensic specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, math and science skills and problem-solving skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a forensic specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.9% of forensic specialists included mental health, while 10.3% of resumes included encase, and 7.7% of resumes included child abuse. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the forensic specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most forensic specialists actually find jobs in the health care and technology industries.
If you're interested in becoming a forensic specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 54.0% of forensic specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.9% of forensic specialists have master's degrees. Even though most forensic specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a forensic specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a forensic specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on forensic specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a forensic specialist. In fact, many forensic specialist jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many forensic specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as case manager or customer service representative.