Crime Scene Investigator
Crime scene investigators are also referred to as Forensic Science Technicians. They collect and analyze evidence from the scene of a crime. Crime Scene Investigators will also write reports of their findings based on all the evidence.
A Day in the Life of a CSI
Scene of the crime: When the Crime Scene Investigator is brought to the scene of the crime, they spend time investigating the area to determine what should be used as evidence. They’ll usually take pictures of various spaces before they are touched by anyone else. Before they collect any evidence, the Forensic Science Technician will record what the surroundings look like by noting the location of any fingerprints, weapons and body matter. Then they will transfer the evidence into bags to be transported to the lab for further inspection.
In the lab: The lab is where some heavy work is done. The CSI will perform various tests using chemical and biological analysis. Through this evidence, a Crime Scene investigator is able to figure out the relation between the suspect and the victim. Usually the Crime Scene Investigator will pow wow with other specialists in the field such as toxicology if poisons were traced, and odontology which is a branch of medicine that is specific to teeth.
Some Forensic Science Technicians, aka Crime Scene Investigators will specialize in a particular branch of crime scene investigations. Forensic Pathologists work strictly within the lab while Forensic Computer Examiners specialize in computer crimes.
Education for Crime Scene Investigators?
To begin your career as a Crime Scene Investigator, typically you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as chemistry, biology or forensic science. If you choose natural science’s as your undergraduate degree, many who take that same route usually go on to receive a master’s degree in forensic science. CSI’s are also sworn in as Police Officers so expect to head to the Police Academy as well.
There will be on-the-job training for eligible Crime Scene Investigator applicants which is necessary before they are able to work alone. New hires are partnered with seasoned professionals to learn real life tricks of the trade. Interested, try our criminal justice practice tests.
How much Do Crime Scene Investigators Make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of May 2015, the annual median salary for CSI’s is $56,320. Entry level and the bottom 10% will earn $34,000 while those who have been in the field for a long time and are at the top of their game will make $94,410 per year.
Between now and 2024, the job outlook for Crime Scene Investigators is predicted to grow about 24% which is well above the average job growth outlook. The interest in the CSI career has grown in popularity due to all the television shows depicting life as a CSI agent. But, there will be plenty of jobs for those who are eligible, find a school now.