Forensic Science Job Market
Forensic science can be defined as the application of scientific methods and principles
to solve crimes and other types of legal issues. In most criminal cases, a forensic
scientist is typically involved in looking for and examining many kinds of physical
evidence that can help establishing a link between a suspect of committing a crime and the
scene of the crime or victim. Forensics is now a more popular subject since several TV
shows became successful, such as Crime Scene Investigation (CSI).
However, very few people realize that being a CSI or forensic professional can be a
very good career alternative. One can put forward many reasons that make forensic science
one of the best career prospects nowadays. The reasons range from labor market, salaries,
benefits to training availability and beyond.
The availability of jobs for someone seeking to be a forensic professional used to be
very small for a long time until about five years ago, when many technological and
scientific advances started to develop and provided new kinds of tools that substantially
improved the efficiency of the police and security forces in solving crimes and other
problems. As a consequence, most law enforcement agencies and other institutions greatly
expanded their resources and facilities in order to increase their ability to employing
techniques and methodologies of forensic science.
Even though police departments alone employ (and keep hiring) thousands of people
coming from diverse areas of forensic work and with many different educational
backgrounds, police is not the only alternative for those looking for a job related to
forensic science or criminal justice. Methods and concepts of forensic science are
increasingly being used by many other institutions for diverse purposes so the job market
for forensics is greater than ever.
Companies that develop, improve and produce tools, reagents, kits and devices to be
used in forensic investigation are also a good part of the available job market. The size
of the job market and the opportunities associated greatly increase if one considers
working abroad. Besides the United States, countries like Britain and Australia are also
part of this trend.
Being a discipline that relies strongly on technology, working in forensic science
requires the acquisition of certain skills. This means somebody wanting to work in
forensics needs at least some sort of higher education. The type of degree and the length
of the program vary largely and depend on the kind of work one is interested in doing.
Some positions require higher degrees such as Ph.D. or Masters, but many more posts can be
taken after a short course of one or two years earned at smaller private academies.
But these requirements are not a big obstacle to be sorted out if one considers the
many benefits of working for a forensic department. Positions at police agencies and other
law enforcement institutions are often accompanied by substantial benefits and competitive
salaries and, best of all, good prospects of stability and professional growth along with
an aura of social approval typically associated with law and order public service. These
and many other reasons make forensic science on of the best career alternatives available today.
Juan Salvo is a web publisher and helped many people develop successful
careers in forensics.
He researches and writes about
and programs in forensic science. He also writes about