What Is Forensics?

You may be surprised to learn that some forensic scientists have never come near a dead body in the course of their work. Although forensics has a lot of television glamour surrounding it, revealing, analyzing, and explaining evidence defines the jobs of the many professionals working in the field. Read on to learn more about the world of forensics. Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Field Overview

It doesn't matter who it exonerates, depreciates, or implicates, finding the truth is the goal of every forensic investigation. Forensic science applies scientific method of discovery to legal issues. Forensic scientists must remain completely neutral in their work. If you want to become a forensic scientist, one of the skills you'll need is the ability to remain impartial at all times, regardless of the facts that come to light.

Important Facts About Forensic Science Technicians

Median Salary (2014) $55,360 per year
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 27% growth
Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Critical thinking, problem solving, reading comprehension, attention to detail, science background, computer proficiency, oral and written communication excellence
Similar Occupations Criminal laboratory analyst, crime scene analyst, crime scene technician, crime scene investigator, evidence technician, latent print examiner

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Specializations

The forensics community encompasses a diverse group. They work in law offices, accounting offices, justice departments, and many other areas of the legal system. Take a look at some forensic science experts and what they do.

Data

Data or computer forensic scientists work with many forms of digital information. They can pull information that you thought you'd deleted off your hard drive. They can enhance photographic images. They can also use your cell phone to track individuals' past and present locations.

Dental

Dental forensics experts can match dental patterns to determine the origin of bite marks both in flesh and in dense material objects. These scientists are also called on to determine the identity of a body that was damaged beyond visual recognition. They're also very helpful when it comes to sorting out victims of large-scale catastrophes.

Criminalist

A forensic criminalist is able to match tire tracks to specific vehicles and identify materials, such as mud, on tires in order to determine the scene of the crime. These people use hair, fiber, tissue, chemicals, and everything else left behind as puzzle pieces to reconstruct what happened, how it happened, and who was there.

Anthropology

Forensic anthropologists are trained to discover the race, gender, and age of skeletons or individual bones, human and inhuman, along with possible reasons for its demise. They can also give the authorities a reasonable estimation of how long the body has been decomposing and for how long it may have been buried or hidden.

Additional Positions

Questioned documents examiners, who can detect forgeries, may be brought into an investigation, as well as forensic auditors, who ensure an audit was performed correctly. To discover motivation for a crime, a forensic psychologist might be consulted. Whether your field is pathology or entomology, if you use scientific methods of examination to separate fact from supposition, you can contribute to the world of forensics.

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:

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