A forensic scientist collects evidence and analyzes the evidence in a laboratory and summarizes their findings in written reports. They often testify in court, particularly if they have specialized areas of expertise such as fingerprinting, biochemistry, DNA analysis, blood spatter patterns, chromatography analysis, or handwriting analysis.
A forensic scientist provides impartial scientific evidence for use in courts of law to support the prosecution or defense in criminal and civil investigations.
Analyses samples, for example, hair, body liquids, glass, paint, and medications, in the research facility.
Apply techniques such as gas and high-performance liquid chromatography, scanning Electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy and genetic fingerprinting
Sift and sort evidence, frequently held in minuscule quantities
Record findings and collect trace evidence from scenes of crimes or accidents
Attend and examine scenes of crimes
Liaise with team members and coordinate with outside agencies such as the police
Analyse and interpret results and computer data
Review and supervise the work of assistants
Present the results of your work in written form or by giving oral evidence
Justify findings under cross-examination in courts of law
Research and develop new forensic techniques.
To become a forensic scientist a student should first seek after a bachelor’s degree program, ideally in one of the natural sciences or in forensic science specifically. Although requirements for entry-level or trainee work in one of the forensic science disciplines often vary according to the law enforcement or governmental agency, the majority of employers require, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
Some jobs in forensic science require an advanced degree and specialized training. For these jobs, student have to complete a master’s degree in forensic science. A master’s degree in this field also increases the marketability of the candidate. Most of the forensic scientist holds a master’s degree in forensic science.
An internship is a great opportunity for a student to gain hands-on experience in the forensics field. A student should do an internship during their degree program to enhance their chances of getting hired.
Once student lands in a job he will work under the supervision of a senior forensic scientist. Many employers have training programs in place for new graduates, while others have specific probationary periods.
In addition to completing a degree program in forensic science and a training period or program, many forensic scientists seek professional certification through a forensic specialty board. Some employers require their forensic scientists to achieve certification, while some forensic scientists pursue certification as to achieve professional recognition or advance into a supervisory role.
Bachelor’s degrees in forensic science may be in the form of a bachelor of science in biology or chemistry, or they may be forensic science degrees with concentrations in biology or chemistry. Further, some forensic science bachelor’s degrees allow students to focus their degree on a specific area of forensic science, such as DNA, trace evidence, or ballistics.
A master’s degree in forensic science provides students with the opportunity to focus their forensic science careers on a specific area of forensic science. Many individuals seek master’s degrees as to advance their career.
Ph.D. programs are generally reserved for advanced study in forensic chemistry, forensic biology, and forensic biochemistry, thereby making them ideal for individuals interested in pursuing scholar work or teaching opportunities.
Certificates in forensic science are often pursued by individuals who want to supplement their main degree program, while graduate certificates in forensic science are ideal for those who already possess a bachelor’s degree in natural science or for professionals already employed in the forensic science field and are interested in focusing their career on a specific area of forensic science.