5 Great Careers in Forensics

There are five great careers in forensics you might want to learn more about. If you enjoy television shows such as Bones and CSI, then you already know a bit about this line of work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, specialists in this field use science or other specialized knowledge to answer questions and issues related to law. So if you love science and have an interest in law and problem-solving, then a forensics career might be of interest. More than ten areas of expertise fall under this category but here are five forensics specialties for you to explore.

1. Forensic Science Technician

A forensic science technician collects evidence, performs analysis, and helps investigate crime scenes. This is the forensics job most often seen on police procedurals such as Law and Order. Other names for this position include crime scene investigator and crime scene technician. Technicians spend most of their time working in the laboratory or at crime scenes. The technician is responsible for evidence collection which can make or break a criminal case. Collecting evidence is the most important part of a criminal investigation, and technicians are specially trained to recognize and collect evidence.

2. Forensic Pathologist

A forensic pathologist determines the cause of death. They are extremely important during homicide investigations. It is the pathologist who determines which injuries caused a person to die. They can also determine the time a person died and the weapon or method used to cause the death. In some cases, the pathologist might discover no crime has taken place. This specialty requires training as a medical doctor, and the pathologist must be a licensed medical professional.

3. Bloodstain Pattern Analyst

A bloodstain pattern analyst studies blood patterns to gain information about a crime scene. They most often are called in as blood pattern experts to analyze violent crime scenes. A technician in this field can learn a lot about a crime simply by looking at blood stains, splatters, spills, and drips. A person in this field can determine the type of weapon used in a crime and if a struggle occurred. They can also tell if a drop of blood belongs to the victim or the attacker simply by its position in relation to the victim.

4. Forensic DNA Analyst

Forensic DNA analysts are responsible for analyzing DNA samples. Every human has genetic coding contained in their DNA. It is possible to identify a person by their DNA, which is more accurate than a fingerprint. Detectives count on these analysts to compare DNA samples from victims and suspects. This helps determine if someone was present at a crime scene. It can also help identify an unidentified body and answer other questions concerning identity. In the event of an unknown sample, analysts can use various DNA databases to search for a match.

5. Forensic Ballistics Expert

A forensics ballistics expert is a firearm specialist. A person with this specialty can trace a bullet back to a specific gun or identify the type of gun used. They can locate where a shot came from, identify the caliber of a bullet, and identify the manufacturer. Detectives rely on this information when investigating crimes involving a firearm. This skill is valuable as it helps detectives rule out a firearm that was not used in the crime. Once that is done detectives can ballistics expert’s information to locate the correct weapon.

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There are other great forensics careers. You can become a forensic nurse, engineer, and anthropologist just to name a few. So in addition to exploring the five careers in forensics mentioned here, there are a great many more to find your niche in forensics.