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Forensic Science
Education
Forensic Education > The Beginning
“Neat-o. Maybe I want to be a
forensic scientist.”
Questions:

What does a forensic scientist do?

What type of education is needed?
Summary
Jobs in Forensic Science
Education in Forensic Science
Finding a Job in Forensic Science
Conspiracy
Dick Cheney
George W. Bush
American
Conspiracy
Let’s GO!
Summary
Jobs in Forensic Science
Education in Forensic Science
Finding a Job in Forensic Science
Jobs in Forensic Science
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Investigation
Laboratory Work
Crime Scene Work
Performing Autopsies
Looking at Bones and Bugs
Forensic Education > Jobs
Investigation of Crime
The police investigate crimes.
Forensic scientists do not investigate.
Forensic Education > Jobs
Laboratory Work
Scientists conduct laboratory analysis.
Police investigators do not work in lab.
Forensic Education > Jobs
Crime Scene Work
Who performs work at the crime scene?
What do they do at the crime scene?
Forensic Education > Jobs
Crime Scene Work
Police or Scientist may collect evidence.
Or collected by Crime Scene Technician.
Forensic Education > Jobs
Crime Scene Work
Crime Scene Tech only processes evidence.
Does not investigate or conduct lab work.
Forensic Education > Jobs
Crime Scene Work
Crime Scene Tech only processes evidence.
Does not investigate or conduct lab work.
Bugs, Bones, and other stuff
Many fields of study have forensic applications:

Forensic Entomology
 Forensic Anthropology
 Forensic Odontology
 Forensic Pathology
Forensic scientists in these fields are educated
in the general field, then specialize in the
forensic application of the science.
Forensic Education > Bugs, Bones, Etc.
Many fields of study have forensic applications:
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Forensic Entomology
 Forensic Anthropology
 Forensic Odontology
 Forensic Pathology
Entomologists and Anthropologists most likely
work mainly in a University setting.
Forensic Education > Bugs, Bones, Etc.
Many fields of study have forensic applications:

Forensic Entomology
 Forensic Anthropology
 Forensic Odontology
 Forensic Pathology
Forensic Odontologists are probably
practicing dentists.
Forensic Education > Bugs, Bones, Etc.
Many fields of study have forensic applications:

Forensic Entomology
 Forensic Anthropology
 Forensic Odontology
 Forensic Pathology
Forensic Pathologists are probably full-time
Medical Examiners/Coroners.
Jobs in Forensic Science
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Investigation
Laboratory Work
Crime Scene Work
Performing Autopsies
Looking at Bones and Bugs
Forensic Scientists in the Lab
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Fingerprinting
Firearms
Documents
Trace Evidence
DNA
Drugs
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Questions:

What would I do?
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What about advancement?

Where would I work?
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How much money would I make?
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Two main areas of forensic science:
Forensic Chemistry
Forensic Biology
Other areas (entomology, anthropology,
psychiatry, odontology, etc.)
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Forensic Chemistry
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Drugs
Trace
Firearms
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Fingerprints
Arson
What does the analyst do?
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Forensic Chemistry in the lab:
Instrumental Analysis
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GC/MS, Infrared spectroscopy
Microscopic Analysis
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Fibers, drugs, hair, trace
Database Analysis
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Fingerprint, ballistic search
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Forensic Chemistry outside the lab:
Crime Scene Work
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Not necessarily required
Court Testimony
Scientific Meetings
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Presentations, continuing education
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Forensic Biology in the lab:
DNA Extraction and Amplification
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Pipettes and small tubes
Instrumental and Computer Analysis
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Generates a genetic profile
Forensic Serology
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Detecting blood or semen stains
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Forensic Biology outside the lab:
Crime Scene Work
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Not necessarily required
Court Testimony
Scientific Meetings
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Presentations, continuing education
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Questions:
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What would I do?
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What about advancement?
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Where would I work?
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How much money would I make?
Forensic Education > In the Lab > Advancement
Forensic Scientist or Criminalist (entry level):
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In Alabama, enter as Forensic Scientist I
 Perform analysis & testify
Forensic Scientist and Criminalist II - IV
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Can have additional supervisory duties
 Sometimes other titles (technical leader or
coordinator)
Director or Assistant Director
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Questions:
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What would I do?
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What about advancement?
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Where would I work?
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How much money would I make?
Forensic Education > In the Lab > Where to work
Where would I work?
1. State Agency
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State Police
State Bureau of Investigation
County or City Crime Labs
2. Federal Agencies
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FBI
DEA
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ATF
Armed Forces
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Secret Service
U.S. Postal Service
Forensic Education > In the Lab > Where to work
Where would I work?
3. Private Labs
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Private DNA Labs
Paternity Labs
Drug Analysis
4. Non Forensic Laboratories
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Analytical Chemistry
Research Labs
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Pursue an advanced
degree
Forensic Education > In the Lab
Questions:

What would I do?
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What about advancement?
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Where would I work?
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How much money would I make?
Forensic Education > In the Lab > Money
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Marry a rich person
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Entry Level: $30,000 – $40,000
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Government job has benefits
Education in Forensic Science
What do I need to get a job?
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B.S.?
 Masters?
 Ph.D.?
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Law Degree?
 Medical Degree?
In my opinion, a Masters Degree in Forensic Science
will best prepare an individual for a career in forensic
science.
Forensic Education
Undergraduate Education:
What’s my major?
Myth: Forensic Science is half science
and half criminal justice
Fact: Forensic Science is mostly science
Forensic Education
Undergraduate Education
Chemistry or Biology (B.S.)
Forensic Science (B.S.)
(also Forensic Chemistry or Forensic Biology)
B.S. in Forensic Science may help, but does
not guarantee a job after undergrad.
Forensic Education
Graduate Education
Masters of Science in Forensic Science
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Masters Degree makes you more competitive
compared to B.S. applicants
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Allows for additional lab experience including
internships
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Allows for promotion to supervisory positions
Forensic Education
Education for Other Areas:
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Forensic Entomology
Forensic Anthropology
Forensic Psychiatry
Requires a Ph.D.
Research mentor should work in the field.
Forensic Education
Education for Other Areas:
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Forensic Odontology
Forensic Pathology
Requires a M.D. or dental degree (D.D.S.)
May be specialized degree programs.
Forensic Education
Note about Crime Scene Work:
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Some, but not all, forensic scientists work
crime scenes
 System varies from region to region
 Death scene investigator is a real job
Landing your ideal job requires patience
and the ability to relocate.
Forensic Education
CSI: Fact or Fiction?
Fact:
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Crime scene investigators do exist.
 Investigation system varies from region to region
The Fiction:
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They do too much!
 Not very likely that they dramatically
communicate with the victims or suspects
Forensic Education
FORENSIC SCIENTIST I, II, or III
(Posted 8/11/06)
The Texas Department of Public Safety is seeking applicants for the position of Forensic
Scientist I, II, or III. Qualifications include graduation from an accredited four-year college or
university with a major in biology, chemistry, or forensic science, including the successful
completion of 16 semester hours of chemistry and a minimum of one 3-semester-hour
course each in genetics, upper division molecular biology (molecular genetics), and
biochemistry (transcripts required). Applicants must be skilled in the use of laboratory
equipment/materials. Responsibilities include conducting analyses/examinations of
tissue/body fluids of human/animal origin to detect the presence of blood stains/semen/other
stains; examining/comparing hairs to establish origin/descriptive characteristics; conducting
DNA typing tests on human tissues to compare criminal evidence with samples of known
origin; evaluating/interpreting/documenting the DNA test conducted and testifying in court as
to the findings; appearing at crime scenes to collect evidence and assist law enforcement
officers; preparing reagents; reviewing work of other forensic scientists; maintaining records
of evidence and its disposal; performing proficiency tests and other quality assurance duties;
participating in continuing education; and performing other duties as assigned. On the job
training will be provided for a period of about six months. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.
Annual Salary: $39,312. Applicants may be compensated at a higher level when hired
depending on previously qualifying Crime Laboratory work experience. Application deadline:
August 23, 2006.
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us
FORENSIC SCIENTIST I, II, or III
(Posted 8/11/06)
The Texas Department of Public Safety is seeking applicants for the position of Forensic
Scientist I, II, or III. Qualifications include graduation from an accredited four-year college or
university with a major in biology, chemistry, or forensic science, including the successful
completion of 16 semester hours of chemistry and a minimum of one 3-semester-hour
course each in genetics, upper division molecular biology (molecular genetics), and
biochemistry (transcripts required). Applicants must be skilled in the use of laboratory
equipment/materials. Responsibilities include conducting analyses/examinations of
tissue/body fluids of human/animal origin to detect the presence of blood stains/semen/other
stains; examining/comparing hairs to establish origin/descriptive characteristics; conducting
DNA typing tests on human tissues to compare criminal evidence with samples of known
origin; evaluating/interpreting/documenting the DNA test conducted and testifying in court as
to the findings; appearing at crime scenes to collect evidence and assist law enforcement
officers; preparing reagents; reviewing work of other forensic scientists; maintaining records
of evidence and its disposal; performing proficiency tests and other quality assurance duties;
participating in continuing education; and performing other duties as assigned. On the job
training will be provided for a period of about six months. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.
Annual Salary: $39,312. Applicants may be compensated at a higher level when hired
depending on previously qualifying Crime Laboratory work experience. Application deadline:
August 23, 2006.
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us
FORENSIC SCIENTIST I, II, or III
(Posted 8/11/06)
The Texas Department of Public Safety is seeking applicants for the position of Forensic
Scientist I, II, or III. Qualifications include graduation from an accredited four-year college or
university with a major in biology, chemistry, or forensic science, including the successful
completion of 16 semester hours of chemistry and a minimum of one 3-semester-hour
course each in genetics, upper division molecular biology (molecular genetics), and
biochemistry (transcripts required). Applicants must be skilled in the use of laboratory
equipment/materials. Responsibilities include conducting analyses/examinations of
tissue/body fluids of human/animal origin to detect the presence of blood stains/semen/other
stains; examining/comparing hairs to establish origin/descriptive characteristics; conducting
DNA typing tests on human tissues to compare criminal evidence with samples of known
origin; evaluating/interpreting/documenting the DNA test conducted and testifying in court as
to the findings; appearing at crime scenes to collect evidence and assist law enforcement
officers; preparing reagents; reviewing work of other forensic scientists; maintaining records
of evidence and its disposal; performing proficiency tests and other quality assurance duties;
participating in continuing education; and performing other duties as assigned. On the job
training will be provided for a period of about six months. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.
Annual Salary: $39,312. Applicants may be compensated at a higher level when hired
depending on previously qualifying Crime Laboratory work experience. Application deadline:
August 23, 2006.
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us
Finding a Job in Forensic Science
Internet. Internet. Internet.

American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS)
www.aafs.org
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Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) www.ascld.org
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State or Federal Web Pages
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Word of Mouth (through University)
Forensic Education > Finding a Job
Interview Process:
Extensive Background Check
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Past Landlords
 Past Employers
Polygraph
Relatively Strict on Past Drug Use
Forensic Education > Finding a Job
Job Availability:
10,000 positions to fill,
but no money to pay employees.
Flexibility in relocation greatly enhances
your chances of getting a job.
Web Links

American Academy of Forensic Sciences www.aafs.org
 American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors
www.ascld.org
 List of Graduate Programs
http://www.gradschools.com/listings/all/forensic.html
 FSU Professor Opinion
http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/faculty/nute/FScareers.html

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