What Do Forensic Science Technicians Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

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. They also keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.

Other tasks include:

  • 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.
  • Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
  • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
  • Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.

We asked Forensic Science Technicians how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

73%

How meaningful is this job

72%


73% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 72% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



Featured Forensic Science Schools

Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Forensic Science Technicians use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases. They interpret laboratory findings or test results to identify and classify substances, materials, or other evidence collected at crime scenes.

A typical day for a Forensic Science Technician will also include:

  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
  • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
  • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
  • Compare objects, such as tools, with impression marks to determine whether a specific object is responsible for a specific mark.
  • Examine physical evidence, such as hair, fiber, wood, or soil residues to obtain information about its source and composition.

We asked some Forensic Science Technicians a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?68% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?31% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?85% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?33% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?19% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?70% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Forensic Science Technicians also review forensic analysts’ reports for technical merit. They may also operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Forensic Science Technicians Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity. They might also Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.

In addition, they Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.

To some Forensic Science Technicians, it is also their responsibility to Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Forensic Science Technician, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Forensic Science Technicians work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
88%


Once a month
12%


Do Forensic Science Technicians work outdoors?

Never
38%


Every day
22%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

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.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Forensic Science Technicians

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Related to Forensic Science Technicians Job Description

Forensic Science Technicians job description, what do Forensic Science Technicians do, typical day for Forensic Science Technicians, what is it like to work as a Forensic Science Technician, how many hours do Forensic Science Technicians work, day to day work of a Forensic Science Technician

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm
http://www.aafs.org/
http://www.criminalistics.com/
http://www.icsia.org/


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