After the police and CSIs "do their thing" at crime scenes, the unpleasant job of cleaning up is turned over to crime scene cleanup crews. Some technicians are on call 24/7, and are sometimes at cleanup sites removing blood and harmful toxins for days. Unlike janitors or housekeepers, cleanup technicians require special training, since they often deal with hazardous materials and their job is physically and emotionally draining.
Having a high school diploma or GED is required for most crime scene cleanup companies. A college degree is not required because on-the-job training is provided for technicians.
Depending on the company, technicians may have to obtain certifications in subjects such as blood-borne pathogens, hazardous materials transportation, personal protective equipment (PPE) training, airborne pathogens and hazardous waste generation.
Though related experience is not a requirement of many crime scene cleanup companies, it is helpful. People who usually go into this career have a background in areas such as emergency medicine, forensics or public health. It helps to have experience using tools and machinery, as crime scene cleanup technicians must restore spaces to their original state. This may involve ripping rooms apart and putting them back together after removing all hazardous waste and materials.
Crime scene cleanup companies generally have specific personal requirements for technicians. Having a respectful personality is often at the top of companies’ lists. Companies don’t want their technicians to go to a crime scene and complain about how gross it looks and how mangled the body probably was, especially if the deceased’s family members are nearby. Crime scene cleanup is serious business and technicians must be respectful and professional at all times.
Many companies also require that technicians are physically fit. Crime scene cleanup involves more than just mopping up blood. Technicians sometimes must rip down walls, move furniture and clean the same room for days. Lots of manual labor is involved with this career.
Having a clean criminal background is also a necessity. You should be able to pass a drug test and stay clean from drugs during employment; some companies will do random drug tests.