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Forensic Science Careers

There are various specializations one can look forward to as a Forensic Scientist. Some of them are mentioned in the lines to come. Medical examiner is one such field. He requires a medical degree therefore; a residency should be selected that provides a forensic emphasis. A chemistry or biology degree at the undergraduate level is a good majoring option. If at FSU, one takes the crime detection and investigation course as undergraduate electives, one would not have an opportunity for this course at medical school. The forensic odontologist has similar educational requirements as the medical examiner except in dentistry wherein, they generally are dentists who practice as consultants rather than as full-time forensic scientists.

Crime Laboratory Analyst - The microanalysis section provides the most variety but currently it is being phased out or scaled down in most crime laboratories. The crime laboratory usually requires a bachelor's degree in a natural science for any of the specialties, though the best degree overall is chemistry. If one is interested in DNA testing, then biology with genetics and biochemistry is required. If one is interested in trace evidence examination, good electives for the chemistry degree include optical mineralogy, microbiology, botany and textile courses. Occasionally, evidence at the crime scene is encountered that requires other specialties, such as entomology, anthropology, zoology and botany. These areas may be adequate to obtain employment but do not generally fetch work exclusively in the specialty as not even a large laboratory receives enough evidence in those areas to fill an individual's time. One combination that would probably get one a job in a crime lab would be a major that contained sufficient background to do both forensic archeology and DNA on the samples recovered.

A forensic engineer has to deal with traffic accidents, fire investigations, and a variety of wrongful injury cases. The work is similar to that of a crime scene examiner but with fewer bodies and better hours and generally much higher pay. One can earn that pay by the degree you obtain. A forensic engineer requires an engineering degree, with the usual specialties such as electrical engineering, mechanical, civil, materials engineering and traffic engineering. The crime scene examiner should have a bachelor's degree either in a natural science with emphasis in law enforcement and crime scene processing or a criminal justice degree with emphasis in natural science. Currently, some state agencies have such a requirement and most agencies soon will. Forensic archeology would be an excellent preparation. Another smart approach is to combine crime scene investigation and psychology for the job now known as psychological profiling. The psychologist, social scientist and statistician generally, are in the same academic setting and apply their respective specialties to an investigation or trial on a part-time basis.

Psychological profilers are however, becoming more involved with investigations on a full-time basis. Technical analysts usually are attached with an investigative unit and generally work in a laboratory-like environment but respond similarly to crime scene personnel. If one is interested in psychological profiling, there are agencies hiring who actually want an investigator/crime scene analyst/psychologist. Thus, it leads to almost a double major in psychology and criminal justice and experience as an investigator. Although the academic part could be accomplished with a major in psychology and a minor in criminology, it would be better accomplished with a psychology undergraduate degree and a criminology master's with electives in psychology. Electives at the undergraduate level should include crime scene processing and crime detection and investigation course as these are not available at the graduate level. The criminology emphasis should ideally be in law enforcement and forensic science.

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Source: www.a1articles.com