What Are Entry-Level Jobs in Crime Scene Investigation?
Are you interested in a criminal justice career? Do you like science? Crime scene investigators are responsible for collecting and documenting physical evidence at a crime scene. Some crime scene investigation jobs require a great deal of experience, while others are considered entry-level. Keep reading to find out about some of the entry-level jobs in crime scene investigation! Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Entry-Level Crime Scene Investigation Jobs
Crime Scene or Forensic Technician
Crime scene or forensic technicians work in the field, processing evidence found at crime scenes. As a crime scene tech, your work may include photographing the scene, as well as collecting, bagging and documenting evidence for lab technicians. You'll collect hair, blood and other biological evidence as well as different types of fibers, firearms and other weapons. You'll look for and document latent fingerprints and footprints, tire indentations and other impressions.
To prepare for an entry-level career as a crime scene technician, you'll need to complete at least a certificate or 2-year degree program in crime scene investigation, forensics or a related field. Curricula for these programs generally include coursework in criminal justice, legal issues related to crime scenes and evidence, safety at crime scenes and latent fingerprint identification. You may also be required to take courses in forensic photography. Some jobs require a 4-year degree in a related field.
Some agencies will hire you as a crime scene technician trainee. In this case, you'll still need at least some related college coursework, but you'll do most of your learning on the job.
Fingerprint Examiner or Technician
As an entry-level fingerprint examiner, you'll use established methods to identify a person from latent prints found at a crime scene or fingerprints taken from victims or perpetrators. You may have to compare fingerprints with those existing on databases. You'll register any prints you find in local and national databases. You will work under the close supervision of a fingerprint specialist as you learn the proper procedures. Testifying at criminal trials may be required.
The education required for this position will depend on your employer. Community colleges, colleges and universities offer fingerprint technician courses individually, or as part of criminal justice or forensics degree programs.
A forensic photographer must first be well versed in the skill of taking photographs and developing film. You will set up the camera for different shots, both with a tripod and with the camera in hand. Physical evidence is typically photographed as a visual record, including an entire crime or accident scene. You will also be responsible, in some instances, for using state of the art ultraviolet photography equipment to record scenes. You will then develop the prints and present them to be used by other technicians or investigators.
Forensic photography courses are available on campus and online at through colleges and universities. The amount of education and training you'll need will depend on your employer.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: