The first thing you should know about the forensic science career field is that it really is a serious job. CSI may make it look like a sort of “James Bond in the 21st Century” kind of job, because you get to play with cool gadgets and nail perps, but it takes years of education to work at it effectively, and there can be a lot of at-work pressure when your efforts might make or break a big case.
So before reading any further, ask yourself – Would you be ready to make that commitment? Is forensic science something you could be truly passionate about? If so, read on…
Forensic Science Techs go to School for Two to Four Years (or longer)
At the very least, you’re probably going to need a Bachelor’s degree. Most crime labs offer on-the-job training, but if you don’t come in with some education in chemistry or forensics.
You don’t really need to worry about SAT scores or if you had lousy grades in high school. You can go from a GED to studying at a community college to working in a crime lab in a few years time, so if it’s your passion, don’t think you’re going to run into a dead end because of a lack of higher education.
Forensic Science Techs fill a Specific Role
On CSI, you often see the forensic technicians going on raids and arresting and questioning suspects. It makes for a more exciting show, but the truth is, you’re going to be spending most of your time either analyzing crime scenes, or in the lab. It’s not unheard of for a uniformed officer to be qualified for crime scene investigation, but the duties are generally split up.
This isn’t to say that being a CSI tech isn’t exciting, as it most certainly can be. Just know that if you’re wary because you might get shot at; don’t worry about it. A crime scene tech rarely deals directly with the criminal element.
The Forensics Field is Constantly Advancing
Whatever you learn in school will only be handy for a few years. The fact is that new techniques are developed every day while existing techniques are debunked. If you’re interested in becoming a forensics tech, you need to be willing to keep up with the technology and keep learning more about your field as it develops. You’ll never know everything there is to know, because there’s more to know every day.
It can be tricky to keep up with, but this is part of what keeps the job exciting. You won’t get stuck in a rut or a routine, since there’s always going to be a way to grow as an expert in your field.
Hopefully, we’ve given you good introduction to the Forensic Science career field, and if it still sounds like something you’d love to do, then what’s holding you back?