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ob Description: A forensic scientist is a member of the team that investigates crimes.

He or she gathers and documents, or analyzes, physical evidence from crime scenes. This evidence may include fingerprints, blood, hair and bullets. A forensic scientist, also called a crime scene investigatoror a forensic science technician, may specialize in crime scene investigation which entails the collection and cataloging of evidence, or laboratory analysis which involves using scientific methods to identify and classify evidence. Employment Facts:

In 2010, 13,000 people were employed as forensic scientists. They worked primarily for state and local governments in police departments, morgues, crime laboratories and coroner offices. Crime scene investigators must travel to various parts of cities and regions where the crimes they are investigating have occurred. The gruesome nature of the crimes they must investigate makes their work very stressful.

Educational Requirements: To become a forensic scientist, one usually needs to earn a bachelor's degrees in chemistry, biology, orforensic science. Some crime scene investigators and forensic science technicians are trained as police officers who have graduated from police academies.
Why Do You Need to Know About Educational Requirements?

Other Requirements:

Before one can work independently as a forensic scientist, he or she must receive extensive on-the-job training. This takes place through an apprenticeship with an experienced colleague. The novice technician is trained to properly collect and document evidence. He or she may go on to receive training in a laboratory specialty such as DNA or firearms analysis. In addition to needing very specific technical skills to do this job, forensic science technicians also need certain soft skills personal qualities or traits. They should be able to work well with others and have strong organizational skills. Their work requires excellent problem solving and critical thinking skills. They must have an eye for detail. Forensic scientists need strong speaking and writing skills as well.

Job Outlook:

Employment of forensic scientists is expected to increase as fast as the average for all occupations through 2020.

Why Do You Need to Know About Job Outlook?

Earnings: Forensic scientists earned a median hourly wage of $25.41 and a median annual salary of $52,840 in 2012.

Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much forensic scientists currently earn in your city. A Day in a Forensic Scientist's Life:

On a typical day a forensic scientist, depending on whether he or she specializes in crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis, might perform some of the following duties:

Visiting crime scenes in order to plan how and what evidence to collect Collecting, cataloging and preserving criminal evidence that may be used to solve cases Photographing or making sketches of crime scenes Reconstructing crime scenes Examining, testing, and analyzing evidence including tissue samples, chemical substances, physical materials and ballistics Meeting with ballistics, fingerprint, handwriting, document, electronics, medical, chemical or metallurgical experts to discuss and interpret evidence Reconstructing crime scenes in order to figure out if and how pieces of evidence are related Writing and presenting summaries of findings

Testifying as an expert witness on evidence or laboratory techniques in trials or hearings Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Forensic Science Technicians, on the Internet athttp://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos115.htm (visited July 17, 2013). Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Forensic Science Technicians, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/19-4092.00(visited July 17, 2013). Should You Become a Forensic Scientist? Take a Quiz to Find Out.

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Job Description for a Police Chemist

By Kate Barber, eHow Contributor


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A forensic scientist uses science and mathematics to aid investigators in the solving of a crime.

When someone speaks of a police chemist, he is probably referring to a forensic scientist. A forensic scientist uses his science and mathematics training to aid police investigators in solving crimes. A person who enjoys working in a laboratory setting and solving problems may find a career as a forensic scientist to be the right fit.

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The Average Salary of a Forensic Chemist

Job Description for a Production Chemist

1. Professional Responsibilties

A police chemist or forensic scientist will be responsible for collating and analyzing physical evidence as provided by crime scene investigators. The analysis will be dependent on the scientist's ability to apply mathematical principles and scientific methods in the laboratory. The scientist may be called upon as an expert witness on laboratory techniques and test result interpretation. Most forensic scientists work in the following fields: controlled substance and toxicology, biology, chemistry, document examination, firearms and toolmark examination, psychological detection of deception exam and fingerprinting. As a forensic scientist specializing in chemistry, one would need to draw upon an academic background in chemistry to aide investigators in the recreation of a crime scene.

2. Other Required Skills


It will be requirement to maintain meticulous reports on test findings, in addition to excellent communication skills in the event that one is called upon to testify in court. A strong grasp of chemistry, physics, biology or physical anthropology is required in order to apply the principles of each discipline to your situation. Computer skills that allowing modeling and data analysis are also necessary.

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3. Education and Work Experience


A bachelor's degree in forensic science with a strong emphasis in chemistry or a bachelor's degree in any one of the sciences and attainment of a master's degree in forensic science is required. As of 2001, there were 31 colleges and universities offering a degree in forensic science. Laboratory experience will be imperative to obtaining a job, such experience may be attained through an internship or co-op program. Employment will be contingent upon the ability to pass a criminal background investigation.

4. Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for 2008 to 2018 for forensic scientists was expected to grow as the judicial system continues to expand. Competition for jobs at the FBI and Department of Justice were expected to remain very high. Those benefiting from most from the job growth will have advanced degrees in forensic science or any of the related sciences and/or certification in one of the forensic specialties.

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