Becoming a forensic science technician is an enviable job! The following article gives you tips on how to become a forensic science technician.

How To Become A Forensic Science Technician

“….Case studies or forensics or murder – all that good stuff!” ~ Tom Araya. You must have seen those television shows where the DNA from the crime scene is ultimately taken to a forensic laboratory. Didn’t you wish that you had the job of being part of the FBI, CID or the Scotland Yard? If you did then your prayers have started getting answered right away for this article tells you exactly what the job is all about and how to get into it. A forensic science technician is someone who analyzes the evidence at a crime scene for paternal testing, causes of death and so on. Hence, these individuals are also called crime scene investigators. Being familiar with medical and technical information obviously holds great importance in this field. More often than not, forensic science technicians are employed by government agencies. If solving a mystery never sounded better then read this article for an insight on the eligibility and requirements for becoming a forensic assistant.
Becoming A Forensic Science Technician
Deciding whether you want to become a forensic science technician must start early so that you can pick up some math and science skills. Begin by getting an undergraduate degree in science or forensic science which usually takes up 3-4 years depending on the country of study and teaches the basics about body fluids, tissues, structure of DNA, fingerprinting etc. Remember that for the post of a lab technician, you need to be comfortable with handling bodies as well as with working in closed settings. Sometimes, if schools do not offer this course then chemistry and biology are good substitutes. A forensic science master’s is optional but it is preferred as it adds value to your resume and pay package. This takes two years to complete and covers advanced training in labs, toxicology report making and techniques to analyze DNA etc. After this, you can do a certification examination and be conferred as a Fellow or Diplomate.
Courses Required:
  • Diploma In Forensic Science: Diploma courses in forensics give you a brief introduction into general forensic science and its techniques and give you a headstart in this field. They also save the time that you might spend on a lengthy degree.
  • Crime Scene Technical Certificate: It does not form a substitute for a degree, but provides for a good training in relevant areas like dealing with evidence, evaluating them and making lab reports.
  • Associate Degree In Forensic Science: This course gives you an ideal start to get into a fresher job or further studies. It is usually a combination of broad topics, natural sciences and specialized technical aspects. In this program, students are allowed to specialise in either crime investigation or forensic computer science.
  • Bachelor’s In Criminal Justice: It is not necessary that you only do a forensic science undergraduate program. A Bachelor’s in criminal justice can also prepare you for the competitive industry. From here, either you can branch out into subjects like forensic sciences or get into core criminal justice, juvenile delinquency or sociology of criminal justice. 
Skills Required:
  • Methodical In Work: Since you are applying for the technician part of the job, you will be loaded with reports, statistics, readings, graphs and results. It is important to make databases and be methodical in the working patterns.
  • Precision: Erring maybe human but since based on your derivation of the generated data decisions are going to be made, you must maintain accuracy. There must also be care while dealing with bodies and evidence.
  • Communication Skills: To express exactly what you have learned to the scientist in charge, you must be able to communicate well and portray good interpersonal skills. Communication does not only mean speaking, it also means written expression. 
Roles And Responsibilities
  • Investigating crimes by collecting physical evidence and analyzing it. There can be specializations in the same such as DNA analysis, firearm examination, testing weapons like glass, metal etc, collection of hair, tissues and blood from the site of the felony.
  • Storage methods of evidences must be taken care of by the forensic science technicians. It must be done in such a way that there is no degradation or exposure or vandalism.
  • One of the major roles of a technician is to prepare reports and document the findings into records. When asked, this data must be retrievable with an opinion to the investigators.
  • Forensic science technicians also give testimonies in the criminal courts for various trials. It is their responsibility to transport the evidences safely to and from the courts.
  • Working closely with scientists and experts is also a common responsibility. They also need to consult medical doctors and professionals to solve cases. 
Career Prospects
Forensic science technician is a specialised field and there are not many people with that expertise. So, this profession will always be in demand. As with any profession, the salary ranges with different regions, area of expertise and number of years of experience. But remember, there is always a need for quality more than quantity!
The job of a forensic scientist technician is dutiful as well as something that you need the aptitude for. Hope the above write-up brings you closer to your dreams!

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