What Is Crime Scene Investigation?

The popularity of television crime dramas has made CSI, or crime scene investigation, a household term. Crime scene investigation involves collecting, preserving, and analyzing evidence and other data found at crime scenes. Forensics experts who participate in these processes play vital roles in the legal system. Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Field Overview

The term 'crime scene investigation' has become largely recognizable, thanks to pop culture and television media. Crime scene investigation often referred to as CSI, involves collecting, preserving, documenting, and analyzing evidence found at crime scenes. Forensics, the application of science in the legal realm, plays a big role in crime scene investigation and a number of forensic professionals are involved in the process.

While the TV drama version of crime scene investigation involves expensive, high-end equipment, real-life investigators generally work with limited budgets and must rely on their creativity to get the job done. On-screen depictions of crime scene investigation also occasionally skew the reality of working in the field by misrepresenting the career profiles of real-life professionals.

Important Facts About the Crime Scene Investigation Field

Median Pay (2018)$58,230 (for forensic science technicians)
Required Education Bachelor's degree
On-the-job Training Moderate-term on-the-job training, usually under the guidance of an experienced investigator
Work Environment Police departments, morgue, crime laboratory; also spend a majority of time at the crime scene

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Forensics experts are responsible for two main tasks: retrieving and processing evidence found at crime scenes and acting as expert witnesses. The first of these tasks involves studying physical evidence, analyzing clues recovered from crime scenes, and drawing conclusions based on evidence and one's expertise. The second part of a forensic expert's job requires communicating his or her complex findings to judges and juries in understandable terms.

Career Outlook Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of forensic science technicians was expected to increase by 17% from 2016-2026, which is significantly faster than average.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
      • Masters - Accounting: Forensic Accounting
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Maryville University

    Maryville University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Master

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  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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