Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. Many technicians specialize in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. Most forensic science technicians spend some time writing reports.
Most laboratory forensic science technicians work full time during standard hours. Crime scene investigators may work extended or unusual hours and travel to crime scenes within their jurisdiction.
How to Become a Forensic Science Technician
Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a natural science, such as chemistry or biology, or in forensic science. On-the-job training generally is required for both those who investigate crime scenes and those who work in labs.
Employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 3,800 new jobs over the 10-year period. Competition for jobs will be strong because of substantial interest in forensic science.
This occupation supported 12,900 jobs in 2012 and 14,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 11.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.2% in 2022 to 13,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 13,000, compared with an observed value of 14,400, 10.8% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 29.5% in 2024 to 18,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 13,800 jobs for 2024, 24.2% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.