Forensic Science Technicians: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Forensic Science Technicians 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.

  • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
  • Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
  • Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
  • Interpret laboratory findings or test results to identify and classify substances, materials, or other evidence collected at crime scenes.
Read more about what does a Forensic Science Technician really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$62490 per year

Average hourly wage
$30 per hour

Forensic Science Technicians with little to no experience tend to make between $34600 and $44340 while the more experienced ones can earn over $76440 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
IL $42 $87,660
CA $41 $85,280
MA $38 $79,440
CT $36 $73,970
NH $34 $70,960

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Forensic Science Technician is to move to a higher paying state like IL. Right now, the highest paying states for Forensic Science Technicians are IL, CA, MA, CT and NH.

However, a higher pay at IL doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at IL might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Forensic Science Technician is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Forensic Science Technicians what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a College Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Forensic Chemistry
Forensic Science and Technology
Read more about how to become a Forensic Science Technician and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Forensic Science Technician.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Good salary (earns more than 50% of the careers out there)
Not suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

73% of Forensic Science Technicians said they were satisfied with their job and 72% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Forensic Science Technicians

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Similar careers

Ballistic Expert, Ballistic Technician, Ballistician, Ballistics Expert, Computer Forensics Technician, Crime Lab Technician, Crime Laboratory Analyst, Crime Scene Analyst, Crime Scene Examiner, Crime Scene Technician (Crime Scene Tech)

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