Top Forensics Careers: Get a Career Overview & Educational Requirements

forensic science technician

Those who work in the forensic field use science to fight crime and help law enforcement officials. This fast-paced field has seen unparalleled interest in recent years. To work in the forensic field, one must have good work ethic and a strong scientific background. Some possible careers options include becoming a forensic psychologist, forensic science technician or a forensic accountant.

Forensic Career #1

Forensic Psychologist

Career Description

A forensic psychologist studies the behavior of criminals. Forensic psychologists often work with members of law enforcement to help identify or interrogate suspects. Sometimes, they also work directly with criminals to help them through the rehabilitation process. Lawyers can even call forensic psychologists to the stand during a trial so that they can provide expert testimony.

Needed Education

To become a forensic psychologist, students should start by earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology or science from an accredited university. After undergraduate school, the next step is to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Once students obtain their Ph.D., they must continue their studies to earn a post-doctorate certificate. While in school, students should apply for an internship to gain experience. Besides that, students must complete supervised training and pass a state licensing exam.

How Much Does a Forensic Psychologist Make?

The average forensic psychologist salary is between $60,000 and $70,000.

Forensic Career #2

Forensic Science Technician

forensic psychology salary

Career Description

Forensic science technicians help law enforcement officials by collecting and analyzing evidence from crime scenes. While investigating crime scenes, the technicians often make sketches, take photographs, collect physical evidence and record their observations. Once the evidence reaches the lab, then the technicians perform various chemical, physical and biological exams. Sometimes, they even reconstruct crime scenes or consult with toxicology experts.

Needed Education

Those who wish to become a forensic science technician must earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biology. Candidates can improve their job prospects by obtaining a master’s degree in forensic science. Many forensic science technicians start their career by joining the police academy. All forensic science technicians receive on-the-job training before they can work on a case independently. Some places even require their workers to pass a proficiency exam.

How Much Does a Forensic Psychologist Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median forensic science technician salary is $52,840.

Forensic Career #3

Forensic Accountant

Career Description

Forensic accountants use their math and investigative skills to examine a company’s financial statements. The Federal Bureau of Investigation commonly uses forensic accountants to investigate white-collar crimes. Those who work in this field use their accounting background to find questionable data in financial reports. They often expose embezzlers and track terrorist funding. Preventing tax evasion is another common forensic accounting job description.

Needed Education

To work in the forensic accounting field, people must start by earning their bachelor’s degree in accounting. Upon completion of undergraduate school, students must further their education by obtaining a master’s degree in forensic accounting or business administration. Aspiring forensic accountants should spend their time in graduate school preparing for the CPA examination. Those who pass the CPA exam are more likely to find a job.

How Much Does a Forensic Psychologist Make?

A forensic accountant can earn anywhere from $61,000 to $102,000 per year.

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