What is the job outlook for Crime Scene Investigators?
Thanks to popular TV crime shows the field of crime scene investigation is looking hotter than ever and shows no signs of slowing down. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that though production in some areas requiring science technicians has declined the need for skilled forensic science technicians will actually be higher than the average, with 4,000 new jobs created by the year 2016. Of course, job demand is not the only area that interested parties should consider.
Crime scene investigators are normally required to have a bachelor's degree, though requirements will vary based on area. Those who apply for jobs in rural areas where there is less competition may be able to get by with only a high school diploma. The majority of the over 13,000 forensic scientists in the country however, work for state and federal governments because smaller police departments do not have a separate budget to hire a crime scene investigator. In these areas police officers may be required to do the work of a crime scene investigator, or they may request an investigator from a nearby large city.
Part of the increasing rise for crime scene investigators comes from increases in technology and realization that highly trained technicians have the knowledge to prevent errors in analyzing and collecting data from crime scenes. Thereby, providing results that will stand up in court once the criminal in an investigation has been identified. In fact, DNA identification is expected to be a major fixture in crime scene investigations in the 21st century. By talking to school advisors and finding out about local job opportunities for forensic scientists, graduates can be sure to find a career path that offers long-term stability and room for moving up.
Salaries for investigators will vary by region, and those with more experience and education can be expected to earn more. Specialization will also affect earnings potential. At the bottom end of the scale, investigators can expect to make around $25,000 a year. Those with advanced degrees, years of service, and in a specialization with a greater need could double that salary. However, the median range seems to be around $40,000. Of course this is only an average, individuals could make more or less depending on a number of factors determined by the hiring police department. Investigators can remain competitive for salary increases by taking continuing education courses to keep their training up to date.
Like any job in criminal justice, crime scene investigators will have to do a lot of work to earn their pay. Crime scene investigators work in a variety of conditions. In some cases, they may be required to collect evidence at a crime scene outdoors in bad weather. For many the job can be emotionally stressful, investigators may be called in after a murder or sexual assault, and are expected to remain professional and be on call when needed. Most work an intense schedule well over the average and are expected to respond to emergencies at any time of the day or night.
Schools OfferingCrime Scene Technician Courses:
- BS in Criminal Justice - Crime Scene Investigation
- Bachelor of Science 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
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
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
- BS in Criminal Justice in Crime Scene Investigation
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
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
- Applied Criminology Certificate
- Criminal Justice Administration Bachelor Degree
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
- Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Corrections and Case Management
CTU can connect you to a powerful professional network, real-world faculty and innovative technology.
- Denver - Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Investigation