Forensic Experts

Forensic experts apply scientific principles and methods to the analysis, identification, and classification of physical evidence relating to criminal (or suspected criminal) cases. They do much of their work in laboratories, where they subject evidence to tests and then record the results. They may travel to crime scenes to collect evidence and record the physical facts of a site. Forensic experts may also be called upon to testify as expert witnesses and to present scientific findings in court. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the largest forensic science organization in the world, has more than 6,500 members.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Criminalists, Computer Forensics Specialists, Fingerprint Classifiers, Forensic Anthropologists, Forensic Biologists, Forensic Botanists, Forensic Chemists, Forensic Entomologists, Forensic Nurses, Forensic Odontologists, Forensic Pathologists, Forensic Psychiatrists, Forensic Toxicologists, Geneticists, Identification Technicians, Molecular Biologists
Duties Use scientific principles and methods to analyze, identify, and classify physical evidence relating to criminal (or suspected criminal) cases
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
Experience Several years' experience in a related field or in forensics
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Computer
  • Public Speaking
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Project Leader or Consultant
  • Forensic Expert
  • Forensic Science Technician

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