How to Become a Crime Lab Technician: Step-by-Step Career Guide #crime #lab #tech, #how
How to Become a Crime Lab Technician: Step-by-Step Career Guide
Should I Become a Crime Lab Technician?
Also called forensic science technicians, crime lab technicians assist with criminal investigations by studying physical evidence in laboratories. They are distinct from other forensic science technicians who specialize in crime scene investigations and collect evidence on site. Crime lab technicians perform laboratory analyses on evidence including bodily fluids, guns, fibers, bullets, and hairs. They may specialize in a particular type of analysis, such as fingerprints, DNA, or handwriting. Job duties involve utilizing scientific equipment, chemicals, and computer databases to study evidence that other professionals collect at crime scenes.
Individuals seeking careers as crime lab technicians need a bachelor’s degree plus on-the-job training. They should be able to pass a background check and drug test. Optional professional certifications are also available. In May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a mean annual salary of $60,090 for forensic science technicians.
Forensic science, chemistry, molecular biology, biology, or biochemistry
Optional certifications awarded by professional associations are available
Work experience is usually not required, but some employers prefer to avoid job training and hire experienced workers
Verbal and written communication skills; attention to detail; critical-thinking skills; familiarity with laws and court procedures; proficiency with relevant software, including Combined DNA Index System, National Crime Information Center database, and DesignWare 3D EyeWitness
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Society of Crime Lab Directors, Forensic science professional associations, O*NET OnLine
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Steps to Become a Crime Lab Technician
Let’s see what steps have to be taken to become a crime lab technician.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Crime lab technicians typically hold a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or another scientific field, including chemistry, molecular biology, biochemistry, and biology. Forensic science students should choose coursework that helps them attain skills in the area in which they want to specialize. For example, students should take natural science classes if they plan to specialize in latent prints or select biology courses to specialize in DNA analysis.
Forensic science bachelor’s degree programs include courses and laboratory work. Programs with a heavy emphasis on math, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology may provide the best preparation for a crime lab technician career. Students also study topics in anthropology. They learn about the criminal justice system, evidence rules, and professional ethics. Specific classes in forensic science degree programs may include murder investigations, cell biology, forensic microscopy, bloodstain evidence, science statistics, and genetics.
Step 2: Get Hired at a Crime Lab
Most crime lab technicians work for local and state agencies, including law enforcement departments, morgues, and medical examiners. A non-criminal background is essential due to security precautions and because a crime lab technician’s credibility may be scrutinized in a courtroom. Many employers require job applicants to take and pass polygraph exams, substance abuse screenings, and background checks.
Check forensic science websites for job postings: Aspiring crime lab technicians will find many job vacancies announced online. Examples of organizations that post job listings include the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Local and state government agencies that hire crime lab technicians also post job openings on their websites. The ASCLD recommends that new graduates spend approximately 15-25 hours weekly on job-search tasks, including sending letters and resumes and making telephone contacts.
Step 3: Complete a Job Training Program
In addition to a formal education, crime lab technicians typically receive on-the-job training to master the necessary skills. Job training programs range from just months to as long as two or three years. The time it takes to complete lab training depends upon the complexity of the specialty. Proficiency testing is needed before crime lab technicians can analyze cases on their own or give testimony in a courtroom.
Step 4: Obtain Optional Certification
Many professional forensic science associations award certification to qualified members. Examples include the American Board of Criminalistics and the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners. To be eligible for voluntary certification, applicants generally must pass exams, hold a bachelor’s degree and meet requirements for training and experience. Continuing education and proficiency testing are typically required to maintain certification.
To become a crime lab technician, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree along with on-the-job training.
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Crime Scene Investigator Career Salary Outlook
CSI is more than merely the title of a very popular, long running television show with spinoffs galore; it also happens to be a very viable and very popular career field. Many of those who have an interest in the field have that interest because of things read in books or seen on television or in the movies. The actual career of a CSI technician is not exactly the same as those portrayed on television, but it is still a very exciting career that calls to many, and the crime scene investigatory salary is quite healthy.
The crime scene investigator has a number of responsibilities at the crime scene. They will walk through the crime scene, look for evidence, and collect it. They can take photos of the scene and make sketches. Some of the types of evidence that they are likely to have to collect at crime scenes include fingerprints, bodily fluids, and weapons. When the investigator collects the evidence, he or she is also going to catalog it when transferring it to the lab. Investigators will also have to present their findings to others on their team, to attorneys, and in trials in many cases. The work schedule of an investigator can vary. Crime never sleeps, so it is common to have to work in the evenings and on holidays.
What is the Career Outlook for Crime Scene Investigators?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the need for crime scene investigators is growing at the same rate as the need for those who are in other jobs – a rate of 19 percent. They predict that between 2010 and 2020, the number of jobs in the field will likely rise from 13,000 to 15,400. This is an addition of 2,400 jobs.
Because of the popularity of the field, it is possible that those who enter it will find stiff competition for jobs. Those who have more education, such as a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or a similar field, or those who have experience working with law enforcement in another capacity, may have an advantage when it comes to looking for and finding work.
At the site for the ICSIA. International Crime Scene Investigators Association, it states there are approximately 450 police agencies in the country that hire full-time CSIs right now, although this is changing and growing. Other, smaller agencies may have a need for specialists, and often officers take care of many of the duties a specialist would in other locales. This means that the competition could be fierce for these jobs, so more education is always a benefit.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary
One of the things that most have to consider when they are looking for a new career is the salary and the potential to make a good living. The CSI salary is good. with the median being $51,570 annually in 2010, according to the BLS. Of course, this is the median wage; half will make more and half will make less. Those who are in the lowest 10 percent earned as little as $32,900, while those in the top 10 percent earned more than $82,990.
The actual salary is going to vary based on a number of factors. The education that a person has, the agency where he or she works, and the amount of experience can have an effect, as mentioned on the ICSIA site.
What Education and Experience Do CSI Candidates Need?
For this career, the educational requirements will often depend upon the agency that is doing the hiring. Some law enforcement agencies will require only a high school diploma and time on the force as a police officer. However, more and more employers today are looking for those who have degrees. While an associate’s degree might be acceptable in some cases, most employees working in the field as full-time CSIs today will have at least a bachelor s of science or a bachelor s of arts degree. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences has a number of resources for those who have an interest in the field and who are considering it as a career.
One of the skills that will be helpful to those who pursue a career as a CSI include the ability to stay calm and composed at a crime scene. Often, those who are in the field will find that they are at crime scenes that can be disturbing, and the ability to maintain professionalism is important. Attention to detail, as well as problem solving skills, are vital tools to have as well. Great communications skills – written and verbal – are important as well for writing reports and for speaking with others on the team, and testifying in court.
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I have recently been honored as one of Houston s Top Lawyers for 2014 in H Texas Magazine. I humbly thank my fellow attorneys and H Texas Magazine for this recognition. It is nice to receive appreciation for my work in representing clients in the courts and before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Again, I want to thank everyone involved for this honor.
(Versión en Español) March, 2017 RUMORS: Once again, the rumor-mongers of TDCJ are waging their campaign that the Legislature has changed a law. Once again, I am informing the inmate population: The Texas Legislature does meet this year, but no one will know whether there will be any new laws affecting the inmate population until at least June 2017. Just because a Bill (a suggestion by one of the Legislatures for a.
Parole in Texas is rather unique. If a family member or loved one has been placed in prison in the state of Texas you should forget about everything you have seen on television. In Texas the parole board members very seldom interview an inmate personally, the inmate is never brought before the parole board to meet and answer questions put to him by the parole board members. A parole package (an evidentiary.
I am often asked by family members, loved ones, and inmates what type of cases I accept and how successful I have been in representing inmates before the parole board. I have attempted to take a cross-section of the numerous letters I have written to inmate/clients over the approximately 25 years I have argued cases to the parole board informing my clients of the parole board decision in their case. I have.
Houston Top Lawyer Award I have recently been honored as one of Houston s Top Lawyers for 2014 in H Texas Magazine. I humbly thank my fellow. News (Versión en Español) March, 2017 RUMORS: Once again, the rumor-mongers of TDCJ are waging their campaign that the Legislature. Paroles Parole in Texas is rather unique. If a family member or loved one has been placed in prison in the state of Texas you should. Parole Wins I am often asked by family members, loved ones, and inmates what type of cases I accept and how successful I have been in.
Pardon the Disruption: The Future You Never Saw Coming.
Pardon The Disruption high-lights the exponential advances in technology that have disrupted the legal system and the economy over time but those changes will pale in comparison to what is about to occur!
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I just wanted to thank you for the Texas Parole webpage! Having worked for TDCJ for 17 total years and with the Institutional Parole Division for 6 of those years, I can honestly say you did a good job addressing the many questions offenders and families ask!
IndyCar Aces Tried To Eat Somewhere Good Before They Got Robbed At Taco Bell
Dixon (left) and Franchitt (right) when they were teammates at Chip Ganassi Racing in 2013. Photo credit: AJ Mast/AP Images
When Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Scott Dixon and retired three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti got robbed at a Taco Bell, everyone’s first question was “why are they at Taco Bell?” Well, it wasn’t their first choice, either.
Just hours after qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, pole sitter Scott Dixon and retired …
Dixon and Franchitti originally planned to go out to a nice Italian restaurant in downtown Indianapolis after Dixon had qualified on pole, but the restaurant was closed by the time he was done at the track, reports the Associated Press .
Sunday evenings in Indianapolis aren’t exactly a hive of activity, so their only other option was fast food. Dixon couldn’t even go to the fast food joint that sponsors his team, which, yes, apparently team sponsorships can even influence where these guys go to eat, per the AP.
The New Zealander did have some reflection about his experience at Taco Bell — the choice only because McDonalds, a Ganassi team sponsor that had a location next door was closed for renovations.
So, Taco Bell it was, where Dixon ordered his usual order of a Cheesy Gordita Crunch, with more beans in place of Taco Bell’s mystery meat.
While Dixon was advised not to speak about the details of robbery itself, he did note how surreal it was to be robbed at gunpoint right after winning pole at one of the world’s most famous races to the AP :
“It was definitely shocking, disbelief for the most part,” said Dixon, who acknowledged the “bizarre contrast” of being robbed a few hours after the high of winning the pole for the fabled race coming up this Sunday.
“It will make you feel really small again,” Dixon said.
Most of all, Dixon and Franchitti considered themselves fortunate that no one was hurt in the incident. The two most valuable items in the car, Dixon’s vintage Rolex and Franchitti’s lucky vintage Daytona edition Rolex, weren’t taken, either.
Dixon also told the AP that he’d still go back to Indianapolis’ most infamous Taco Bell around 10 p.m. if he needed to in the future.
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