How to Become a Forensic Scientist

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With the advancement of law enforcement technology and the increased interest by the media in the area of forensics, increasing numbers of individuals have been pursuing a career as a forensics scientist. Forensic scientists examine physical evidence and then testify about the results of their examination in court and provide interpretations or opinions regarding the results.

Familiarize yourself with the field of forensics by reading books from the library, materials online and bookstores. Talk with your school counselor and with people in the field.

Receive at least a Bachelor's Degree in a science such as chemistry, biology or physics, with coursework including microscopy, statistics and lab work. Forensic scientists work in a number of different fields. A forensic generalist is broadly trained in a variety of forensic specialties. They work with forensic specialists as needed. Fields of forensic science include odontology, anthropology, pathology, engineering, computer science and psychiatry.

Determine if you need to have a Master's Degree. This will be based on your area of specialization and the type of job you are pursuing. Talk to educational counselors, other forensic scientists and possible employers to find out if additional education is required.

Decide geographically where you would like to work and look for positions in local, state and federal government agencies. A smaller number of forensic scientists work in colleges and universities and private labs. Employers often look for individuals with experience, so you may have to first work as a forensic technician. It is also helpful to get experience through internship programs that are offered by numerous schools.


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Sharon L. Cohen has 30-years' experience as a writer and editor. Her Atlantic Publishing book about starting a Yahoo! business is being followed by one on and another about starting 199 online businesses ( See Clients love her excellent high-quality work. She has a B.A. from University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.A. from Fairfield University Graduate School of Corporate and Political Communiation.