Crime Scene Technician Jobs

Before you go looking for crime scene technician job openings, read on to find out more about this career.

Crime Scene Technician Job Description

A crime scene technician’s main responsibility is to collect and work with physical evidence related to or regarding a criminal investigation, like what is seen on hit TV shows like CSI. To get more specific, some common tasks that a crime scene technician may have to take on include:

  • Performing tests on substances such as hair, fiber, and tissue
  • Performing tests on various weapons
  • Taking photographs of evidence
  • Keeping records and preparing reports that detail investigative methods, lab techniques, and findings
  • Interpreting test results to classify and identify materials, substances, or other evidence
  • Collective evidence from crime scenes
  • Preparing reagents, solutions, or sample formulations necessary for lab work or tests
  • Analyzing bullet paths and gunshot residue to figure out how shootings happened
  • Collecting dust impressions to identify fingerprints
  • Examining and analyzing blood stain patterns
  • Conferring with experts in the ballistics, handwriting, fingerprinting, electronics, documents, chemical, medial, or metallurgical field regarding evidence
  • Reconstructing crime scenes to figure out the connections between pieces of evidence
  • Examining crime scenes or visiting morgues in order to collect evidence or information to be used in criminal investigations
  • Testifying as expert witnesses on crime laboratory techniques and/or specific evidence
  • Maintaining and operating lab equipment

Crime scene technicians can also serve as experts or specialists in one particular area such as handwriting, fingerprinting, ballistics, or biochemistry.

Requirements to Become a Crime Scene Technician

In order to become a crime scene technician, you will need at least an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree from a college, technical school, or university. Most employers would prefer that their crime scene technicians receive their training and education in crime scene investigation, criminal justice, chemistry, biology, or forensic science. This kind of study would involve taking classes dealing with the classification and identification of fingerprints, crime-scene photography, courtroom procedures, the recovery and preservation of evidence, and DNA collection.

There is no set requirement for crime scene technicians to obtain any sort of certificate related to forensic science or crime scene technology.

However, crime scene technicians are required to know about local, state, and federal laws. Additionally, they should be ready to work at any time and need to be very flexible.

Most law enforcement agencies require that their crime scene technicians have gone through a background check, a physical exam, a psychological evaluation, and a polygraph exam.

Average Salary for Crime Scene Technicians

The annual salary for a crime scene technician depends greatly upon work experience, education, and the type of agency that is the employer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for a crime scene technician was about $25 in 2007. The average annual salary at that time was approximately $50,000.

If you want to be a vital part of solving crime and believe that you would enjoy being a crime scene technician, consider training for the job!

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