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Forensic Science Technician

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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

Forensic Science Technicians Career Video

About This Career

Collects, identifies, classifies, and analyzes physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Performs 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.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Law Enforcement Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Keeps records and prepares reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
  • Collects evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
  • Testifies in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
  • Uses photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
  • Visits morgues, examines scenes of crimes, or contacts other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
  • Reconstructs crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
  • Operates and maintains laboratory equipment and apparatus.
  • Confers with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
  • Prepares solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
  • Trains new technicians or other personnel on forensic science techniques.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Crime Laboratory Analyst
  • Crime Scene Analyst
  • Crime Scene Technician (Crime Scene Tech)
  • CSI (Crime Scene Investigator)
  • Evidence Technician — Responsible for collecting, receipting, storing, and control of physical evidence/property in the custody of a law enforcement agency.
  • Forensic Science Examiner
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Forensic Specialist
  • Latent Fingerprint Examiner
  • Latent Print Examiner


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


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