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Forensic Science Information

Quick Facts

TV shows such as CSI make forensic science look fast paced and exciting. In real life however, it is more likely to be methodical, utilizing detailed scientific/technical skills and increasingly sophisticated tools.

Most universities don't have a bachelor's degree in forensic science because the job outlook can be limited for someone without graduate training. You may be benefit from choosing a more marketable major and getting a forensic science minor.

Your major should reflect the forensic discipline you want to work in. For example, drug analysts should have a degree heavy in chemistry while DNA analysts should have an emphasis on molecular biology

If you have a criminal record, you have virtually no chance of getting a job as a forensic scientist.

Forensic Science is a very small occupation. In the United States, there are about 4,000 crime laboratories, administered by the federal, state, or local governments or private industry. Most crime laboratories employ scientists in the areas of forensic chemistry (drugs, toxicology, trace evidence, explosives, fires, etc.) forensic biology (mainly DNA and body fluids and tissues), and criminalistics (fingerprints, questioned documents, firearms, and toolmarks).

Most Forensic Scientists work in larger cities or organizations and some can have irregular hours.

The American Academy of Forensic Science, the largest forensic science organization in the world, is composed of over 5,000 scientists organized into ten sections: Criminalistics, Engineering Sciences, General, Jurisprudence, Odontology, Pathology/Biology, Physical Anthropology, Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Questioned Documents, and Toxicology.

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