Where do Forensic Scientists work?
Forensic science is a branch of science dealing with forensics. It is especially related to the law and legal system, which explains why most forensic scientists work in these areas. There's a general misconception that the scientists just work inside the lab, but they actually often work in other areas. Even those that work in the laboratory work in different areas, as there are different areas or expertise in forensic science.
There are many forensic scientists that work outside the laboratory as members of law enforcement or crime scene investigation teams. Their training allows them to identify specifics in the scene that other investigators might miss. They can also perform tests in the field that other untrained investigators can't do. Those working in the field usually make significantly less than those working in the lab.
Forensic scientists often work in a laboratory, but they typically have a specialty, or area of expertise. There are those that work with ballistics, and those that work on DNA or trace evidence. These scientists usually have an advanced degree such as a doctorate, with intense training in their area of expertise. When the situation arises, they work in other areas, but they mainly stick with their area.
These individuals also work as consultants who provide expert testimony. They're called into the courtroom to testify on different ideas. They're also called in to refute the testimony of other expert witnesses. A consultant might come in when another witness claims that a person died at a specific time. They do research and go on the stand with their evidence to prove that the person died at a different time.
Forensic scientists also work in colleges and universities as professors. The job of these workers is to train the future generation of forensic scientists. Many work in the field or the lab for several years before working as teachers. There are some who start teaching as soon as they finish their doctorate, without ever working in the field.
There are some also working for FEMA as disaster relief specialists. Disasters happen around the world, from hurricanes in the United States to tsunamis in the South Pacific. The specialists help identify troubled areas and find solutions. They're also called in to help when there's a large death toll, because they can find the cause of death quickly and identify those who didn't die of natural causes.
Different law enforcement agencies also utilize forensic scientists. These individuals work in law enforcement areas such as the sheriff's department, the district attorney's office, and for the medical examiner. There are even those working as medical examiners because they are trained in both forensics and medicine. The Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also use forensic scientists. In addition, they work for the post office, Fish and Wildlife, and the CIA. They're often used in situations where the cases are quite big and involve multiple jurisdictions. For example, they handle those dealing or trading in illegal merchandise such as ivory or Nazi memorabilia.
Schools Offering Forensic Science Courses:
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.
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigations (Hybrid)
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigations
Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).
- MS in Criminal Justice - Intelligence & Crime Analysis Concentration
CTU can connect you to a powerful professional network, real-world faculty and innovative technology.
- Denver - Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Investigation
National Louis University is one of the oldest and most progressive universities in Chicago.
- B.A. in Criminal Justice: Forensic Social Justice
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) - Forensic Science
- Criminal Justice Administration Bachelor Degree
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
San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.
- Degree - Criminal Justice: Corrections
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
- Applied Criminology Certificate
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice : Corrections
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice : Crime Scene Investigation