Forensic Science Technicians

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About the Job

Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.

It is also Called

  • Ballistic Expert
  • Ballistician
  • Ballistics Expert
  • Ballistic Technician
  • Biometric Fingerprinting Technician
  • Blood Splatter Analyst
  • Computer Forensics Technician
  • Crime Laboratory Analyst
  • Crime Lab Technician
  • Crime Scene Analyst
View All

What They Do

  • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
  • Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
  • Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
  • Interpret laboratory findings or test results to identify and classify substances, materials, or other evidence collected at crime scenes.
  • Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
  • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
  • Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.
  • Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
  • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
  • Review forensic analysts' reports for technical merit.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Recognition and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Kansas City, MO-KS was $43,970 with most people making between $23,470 and $73,420

Outlook

30.16%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 63 people in Kansas City, MO-KS. It is projected that there will be - employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 19 openings due to growth and about 26 replacement openings for approximately 45 total annual openings.



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