Is a Career As a Forensic Scientist Right For Me?

By: beyli


Oftentimes, a forensic scientist's work may reduce the number of cases entering an overloaded court system, because the key decision-makers can determine what the outcome should be before a case reaches the court. Before entering this profession, you will also be expected to perform tests on interpreting various weapons or substances including hair, glass or fiber. If forensics sound exciting to you so far, you should learn about getting the right degree.

Although you can receive a certificate or an associate's degree and still enter into this career field, most forensic scientists hold at least a bachelor's degree. During your certificate or degree program, you will learn to interpret laboratory findings and how to measure, record and test equipment. Whether you focus on areas of DNA, ballistics, fingerprinting or firearm examination, you will help determine a possible suspect and provide much needed evidence and answers.

In addition to being able to think logically and scientifically, you need to have strong communication skills because you will need to explain your findings to others who may not know as much as you do scientifically. Also, you may often be asked to provide testimony as an expert in court. A bachelor's degree in forensic science will definitely prepare you to handle the daily interactions you will encounter. Currently, the average income of a forensic scientist in 2008 was $52,960, according to the Department of Labor. This income is good to be aware of, as it may also lead to more competition when looking at this fast-growing field.

According to the US Department of Labor, employment numbers for a forensic scientist will increase 31% between 2006 and 2016. This increase is primarily a result of the pressure from local, state and federal governments to examine, solve and prevent crime. Because of this demand, within the next few years, there is predicted to be a wide variety of job openings in this field. No matter what specific job you acquire in forensics, since many people will rely on your for answers, you need to be trustworthy and display strong verbal and communication skills. You should also enjoy problem solving using different types of scientific methods and be extremely confident in yourself in order to reach a precise conclusion.

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