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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.   (O'Net 19-4092.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Ballistic Expert, Ballistic Technician, Ballistician, Ballistics Expert, Computer Forensics Technician, Crime Lab Technician   (view all job titles)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
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    Career Video
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    Forensic Science Technicians photo Forensic Science Technicians
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    Wages
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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    No wage data for this occupation.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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    No trend data for this occupation.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Local government, excluding education and hospitals 58.3%
    State government, excluding education and hospitals 29.6%
    Ambulatory healthcare services 3.9%
    Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 2.6%
    Architectural, engineering, and related services 1.7%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • 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.
     
  • Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
     
  • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
     
  • Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
     
  • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
     
  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
     
  • Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
     
  • Prepare solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
     
  • Train new technicians or other personnel on forensic science techniques.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated July 2013
     


    Knowledge
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
     
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
     
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
     
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
     
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
     
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
     
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated July 2013
     


    Skills
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
     
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated July 2013
     


    Abilities
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
     
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated July 2013
     


    Work Activities
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
     
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
     
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated July 2013
     


    Interests
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
     
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
     
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
     
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated July 2013
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Forensic Science Technicians
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Polygraph Examiner Polygraph Unit
    Technology Investigative Unit
    Vermont State Police
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Forensic Science Technicians
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  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
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  • Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
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  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
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  • Experience: A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians  updated July 2013
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Forensic Science Technicians
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Forensic Chemistry. (NEW)
     
    • Forensic Science and Technology.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Forensic Science Technicians.
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  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Forensic Science Technicians :
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Forensic Science Technicians
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  • Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic
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  • Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
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  • Electronics Engineering Technologists
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  • Environmental Compliance Inspectors
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  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health
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  • Fire Investigators
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  • Industrial Engineering Technicians
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  • Manufacturing Engineering Technologists
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  • Police Identification and Records Officers
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  • Soil and Water Conservationists
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Forensic Science Technicians 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor