Job Expectations and Salaries for Crime Scene Investigators
Crime scene investigators, or CSI investigators, are some of the most well known and sought after positions in the criminal justice field. Part of this may be due to the popularity of criminal justice programs as a whole, but a great deal of it has to do with the recent success of the various CSI television shows on television. While the actual position of crime scene investigator is much different than the way that it is depicted and romanticized on television, it is a very interesting job and is only suited to a very particular type of candidate.
What Do Crime Scene Investigators Do?
Crime scene investigators oversee a variety of complicated crime scene investigations. These investigations can be related to anything from homicide to suicide, sexual assaults, robberies, home invasions, and other such crimes.
A great deal of the time of a crime scene investigator is spent in the field, applying forensic science to these crimes and collecting clues used to solve them. Crime scene investigators must also spend a great deal of time on the other side of things, including attending and taking photographs at autopsies, preparing and analyzing reports, and even attending court hearings and testifying at trials. Most importantly, crime scene investigators must stay abreast of changing technologies, and for this reason continuing education is of the utmost importance.
Required Education for a CSI Job
For those that are interested in being a real crime scene investigator, it is important to have the right education. Good training and experience are imperative to any successful crime scene investigator career.
Those who are interested in such a field can enroll in specialized training programs, but a formal education in criminal justice is best. Some schools have specialized programs designed especially for those who are looking to follow this field. Many departments have specific requirements as far as the types of classes that must be taken, including fingerprinting, death investigation, blood spatter interpretation, and photography.
These requirements are often measured in hours, but every employer has different expectations.
Salary Expectations as a Crime Scene Investigator
As it is with any other type of job, it is not realistic to expect to make the "big bucks" in your first few years as a crime scene investigator. As time goes on, more and more compensation can be expected for such a position, as it will require a great deal of not only time and effort, but education as well.
As a general rule, crime scene investigators can expect a salary of anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 to start.
For those who want to be crime scene investigators, there is no time to start like the present. If you have a dream like this, the first step is to enroll in some type of college level criminal justice program, and obtain a degree. Then, talk to your local department about what their requirements are and see if they can point you in the right direction as far as training programs are concerned. It is a lot of work, but in the end it is a very rewarding career for many people.
Schools OfferingCrime Scene Technician Courses:
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.
- BS in Criminal Justice - Crime Scene Investigation
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.
- Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology
San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.
- Degree - Criminal Justice: Corrections
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.
- Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.
- MA in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies
You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.
For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure
- Criminology and Emergency Response Management
Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.
- BA in Criminal Justice/Institutional and Community-Based Corrections
- BS Criminal Justice - Human Services
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
- Applied Criminology Certificate
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- Criminal Justice Administration, Bachelor Degree