What's the Salary for a Recent Graduate in Computer Forensics?

Graduates with a computer forensics, computer science or accounting degree can become forensic computer analysts at law enforcement agencies, private practices or information technology companies. Read on to learn more about the average starting salaries for these workers at all experience levels. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview for Forensic Computer Analysts

If you're interested in a computer forensics job, you may want to pursue a bachelor's or associate's degree in computer forensics or digital investigations. Additionally, you might pursue a degree in computer science or accounting, as both of these fields provide you with skills you can use in forensics. You can also supplement your undergraduate degree with a computer forensics certificate program or enter a computer forensics master's degree program.

Upon graduation, you can pursue a career as a forensic computer analyst, which is part of the criminal investigation field. Salaries largely depend on your experience and your sector of employment. Forensic computer analysts or computer forensic technicians can work for law enforcement, private companies or law firms. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for all forensic science technicians, including those who specialize in computers, are expected to increase by 27% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the national average for all jobs.

Important Facts About Forensic Computer Analysts

Work Environment Usually full time work in an office environment; many work for law enforcement agencies or the government, while other analysts are employed in the private sector.
Licensure Specific career-based licensure does not exist; however, many jobs that support the public sector require security clearance, such as DoJ or TS/SCI (DoD) clearance.
Professional Certification One can become a GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst after taking an exam. Similar certifications exist for different specializations, such as network forensics and malware protection.
On-the-Job Training As an entry-level forensic computer analyst, you may work with a more senior analyst until you have gained more experience. You also may work as part of a team.

Salary by Experience

According to the website PayScale.com, the tenth to 90th percentile salary range for all forensic computer analysts was $40,903-$114,896 as of September 2015. Most entry-level workers with less than one year of experience earned between $39,161 and $95,491 per year in the same period. Salaries increase with additional experience.

Salary by Industry

The job sector that you select can influence your starting salary as a forensic computer analyst. According to the BLS, as of May 2014, the five industries that paid forensic science technicians, including forensic computer analysts, the most were as follows: the federal government, consulting services (e.g., management consulting or scientific consulting), state governments, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and local governments. As of that same time frame, the mean salary of those working for the federal government was $96,680.

Job Duties

A forensic computer analyst investigates a variety of computer-related criminal activities, such as accounting fraud, identity theft, online harassment, hacking and Internet viruses. Analysts use their knowledge of computer systems and information technology to identify the source of a security breach and track down perpetrators of computer crimes.

To advance and earn a higher salary as a forensic computer analyst, you'll need a good grasp of Internet laws and regulations to conduct your investigations and prepare reports. You should also be skilled at problem solving, because you'll be recovering hidden information from a variety of computerized platforms.

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

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »