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What is a Forensic Technician?
A forensic technician, also called a forensic science technician, is someone who plays an integral part of many crime scenes. These technicians are responsible for collecting, identifying, classifying and analyzing physical evidence of a crime scene. Generally they will work in a lab setting and spend their time performing tests to help aid in the criminal investigation. These tests can include hair, fiber, fingerprints and many other tests. Forensic technicians may also serve as expert witness on evidence procedures in the court rooms. Some technicians may choose to specialize their field in such areas as ballistics, handwriting or fingerprinting.
Educational Requirements to become a Forensic Technician
Most places seeking to hire a forensic technician will require you to have a 4 year degree. A bachelor’s degree is required and the major should be criminalistics, chemistry, biology or physics. Some crime labs will require a master’s degree as well. Many times a 2 year degree in the same field will allow an entry level position as a forensic identification specialist. This 2 year degree allows you a chance to work in the lab while you are obtaining your 4 year degree.
Skills needed to become a Forensic Technician
There are many skills needed in order to succeed in the position of a forensic technician. These include the ability to gather and organize information, the ability to understand and comprehend all materials that you read a high level of problem identification and problem solving is also needed. A forensic technician needs to be a critical thinker, and have science backgrounds as well. The knowledge of public safety is also a skill needed for these technicians. Forensic technicians will also need a clear understanding and knowledge of chemistry and how it works.
Job and Career outlook for a Forensic Technician
Job opening will largely depend on the location where you are seeking to work. The higher the crime rate in a certain area, the higher the need for a forensic technician will be. Depending on the level of your education and training will also greatly influence the salary. The average annual wage is around $54,360. Technicians at the highest level do have the opportunity to earn more and work their way up to becoming a supervisor and or manager.