Careers in Forensics

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Career in Forensic Medicine is very critical and highly demanding in nature. In order to get to the point straight let me tell you, a Forensic Scientist is the one who collects physical evidences from the crime scenes. Forensic Science personnel are called crime scene investigators or forensic science technicians. With increase in the world crime scene there is an increase in the numbers of Forensic Science professionals. The requirement seems to be increasing almost continually.

The primary educational qualification to become a Forensic Scientist is a undergraduate degree specializing in Chemistry (as one of the major subjects) and other life style subjects. However a Master’s Program in Forensic Science helps you carve a professional niche. Forensic Sciences usually are taught under the discipline of pharmacy. The subjects and specializations offered during the program help you to choose a specific area of interest.

Once enrolled for a Master’s in Forensic Science program the incumbent will be actively involved in forensic medicine, drug analysis, anthropology, toxicology, entomology, criminalistics, environmental forensics, biological evidence, blood spatter and forensic DNA analysis.

Once specializing in one of the above mentioned areas, forensic scientists could associate themselves with:

  1. Medical examiners offices
  2. Crime Labs
  3. Pharmaceutical industries
  4. Police departments
  5. Hospitals and clinical chemistry labs
  6. Criminal defense and prosecution attorneys
  7. Pharmaceutical industry
  8. Universities and High schools
  9. Research Scientists

Educational Programs in Forensic Science

There are many educational opportunities that help you in gaining deeper insight into the domain of forensics. There are many Master’s programs that help you to specialize in forensic toxicology, drug chemistry, forensic DNA and serology, environmental forensics, forensic death investigation, veterinary forensic sciences, forensic accounting, forensic psychology and fraud investigation there are certificate programs also available for teachers who want to know about the domain.

Top Educational Institutions offering Majors in Forensic Science

University of Florida, Western New England University, Farleigh Dickinson University, Walden University, University of New Haven, Universal Forensic Science Academy, National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, India, Mount Royal College, Calgary, University of Parma, Italy, The University of Auckland and many more. Some of these renowned universities offer Bachelor’s programs in Forensic Sciences too.

Top Forensic Science Scholarships

  1. Association of firearms and tool marks examiners scholarships
  2. FBI Common Knowledge Scholarship
  3. Grace M Walsh Scholarships
  4. Ellis R. Kerley Forensic Sciences Foundation Scholarships
  5. The UNI Forensic Program
  6. Emily R. Murphy Scholarship in Forensic Science

Major Job Responsibilities of a Forensic Scientist

A forensic scientist performs some of these duties:

  1. examine, test and analyze tissue samples, chemical substances, physical materials, and ballistics evidence, using recording, measuring and testing equipment;
  2. interpret laboratory findings and test results to identify and classify substances, materials, and other evidence collected at crime scene;
  3. collect and preserve criminal evidence used to solve cases;
  4. confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation;
  5. reconstruct crime scene to determine relationships among pieces of evidence;
  6. prepare reports or presentations of findings, investigative methods, or laboratory techniques;
  7. testify as expert witness on evidence or laboratory techniques in trials or hearings.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills coupled with a keen sense of attention to detail and dexterity to use lab equipment and other clinical equipment are some of the quintessential skills a Forensic Scientist/Technician need to demonstrate. The average salary the domain offers is around 30K to 60K per annum. Pay increases with experience and expertise. If the domain fascinates you, enhance your academic insight into the area by pursuing any of the aforementioned programs. In any case do get back to us for any doubt clarification.

Wishing you success!!

Ayesha Afsar

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