Forensic Scientist

The popularity of crime-solving television shows has put the profession of forensic scientist in the limelight. While television has highlighted many of the aspects of this career it does not always portray the true complexity of the job. A forensic scientist works to help solve crimes by analyzing evidence collected at crime scenes. The largest employers of forensic scientists are police departments supported by city state and federal governments as well as national organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Most employers require that their forensic scientists have a minimum of an associates degree and they also must be experienced with laboratory equipment computers and machinery as well as modern-day investigation techniques. It is absolutely essential that forensic scientists are able to work well with a team and communicate effectively because most crimes are solved by a combination of work completed by various members of the investigation team. Forensic scientists are often required to provide testimony at criminal trials and therefore must portray confidence on a witness stand no matter how much media attention the trial receives. Additionally according to careerplanning.about.com an eye for detail and a high level of skill in interpreting scientific results are required for this profession. The median salary for a forensic scientist is approximately $51000 per year. However in addition to the salary that is earned in this profession a successful forensic scientist finds value in knowing that they have helped solve crimes and have helped to bring criminals to justice.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $51000
High Salary: $56000
Low Salary: $46000
Tasks: Testifies at criminal trials.
Reconstructs crime scenes.
Interprets laboratory findings.
Collects and analyzes crime evidence.
Also Called: Forensic Investigator
Forensic Laboratory Analyst
Crime Scene Investigators
Crime Lab Scientist
Additional Resources: http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/occupations/p/forensic_tech.htm
http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/profiles/careers/106918.html
http://www.myjobsearch.com/careers/forensic-scientist.html