CareerGPS

Forensic Science Technicians
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Forensic Science Technicians
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
2 2 0 -6.02% 0 0 0 $43.91 $91,326 Bachelor's degree
Description: Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Testify in court about investigative and analytical methods and findings.
  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
  • Prepare solutions, reagents, and sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
  • Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
  • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
  • Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.
  • Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
  • Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
  • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
  • Use chemicals and other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
  • Take photographs of evidence.
  • Train new technicians and other personnel on forensic science techniques.
  • Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.

Knowledge

83%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
73%
Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
72%
Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
69%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
66%
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
62%
Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
58%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
56%
Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
53%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
51%
Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
50%
Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills

72%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
72%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
72%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
69%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
69%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
65%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
60%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
60%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
60%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
56%
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
53%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
53%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
53%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
53%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
50%
Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Abilities

81%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
78%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
75%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
75%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
72%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
72%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
72%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
72%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
72%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
69%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
69%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
65%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
65%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
62%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
60%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
60%
Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
56%
Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
56%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
53%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
53%
Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
53%
Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
50%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
50%
Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Work Activities

92%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
90%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
88%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
88%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
80%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
74%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
73%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
73%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
71%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
71%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
68%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
66%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
65%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
64%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
64%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
61%
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
60%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
59%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
59%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
55%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
55%
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
55%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Overall Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Interests

Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.