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come an Evidence Technician – College Educated
Would you like to work in a field where you could play a major role in solving crimes? Do you want a career that’s as rewarding as it is challenging? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might find a career as an evidence technician the perfect choice. Evidence technicians are a very important part of law enforcement. Without their dedication, skills, and knowledge, many crimes would take years to solve or might never be solved. Here is an overview of what evidence technicians do and how to become an evidence technician.
Overview – What is an Evidence Technician?
An evidence technician is a trained professional who uses forensic science to investigate crime scenes and provides law enforcement agencies with vital information regarding the crime, the suspect, and the crime scene. Evidence technicians may also work under the title of crime scene investigators or forensic science technicians.
There are several different titles for this position, but they all do similar work and aid in solving crimes. They gather evidence from crime scenes, study evidence under a microscope, enter data into the computer, preserve evidence and make sure it makes its way to the crime lab safe and intact. They have to make sure the evidence doesn’t become compromised, which would result in it being thrown out.
They also document the information and input it into a chain of custody document so it may be retrieved by law enforcement and the legal system. Evidence technicians may work for law enforcement agencies, police departments or for private security companies.
Because of their knowledge and expertise in this field, evidence technicians are often called into court to testify in court cases. In fact, evidence technicians are generally considered expert witnesses.
Evidence Technician Career Outlook
State and government agencies are bogged down and overwhelmed with caseloads, which bodes well for evidence technicians and their potential job growth. This increasing number of unsolved cases puts evidence technicians very much in demand. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t offer specific career information on evidence technicians, they do provide it for forensic science technicians, a group in which evidence technicians are included.
Forensic science technicians are predicted to see job growth of 14 percent between 2019 and 2029. This potential average growth is much higher than the growth for all other occupations. Despite this being a very small field, it’s a very important one. Technological and scientific advances make it possible for evidence technicians to provide even more valuable crime-related information to law enforcement and the court system.
The career outlook for evidence technicians also varies by geographical location, employer, degree level, certifications, and work experience. The value of relevant work experience cannot be understated. States with a higher rate of crime offer more opportunities for evidence technicians.
For instance, the highest number of evidence technicians employed is in California, which had 2,270 employed as of May 2020. The lowest number of evidence technicians was in New Hampshire, which only employed 40 evidence technicians. Keep in mind, however, that the type of employer you work for can also play a part in job opportunities.
Evidence Technician Salary
Evidence technicians can earn very good wages. The BLS reports that the average annual wage for forensic science technicians was $60,590 with the wages ranging as low as $36,630 and as high as $100,910 or more. Salaries can vary a lot depending on how much experience the individual has, what degree he or she possesses, the type of employer, where he or she works, and the number of certifications the technician has earned.
By looking at the states below where the highest wages were earned and comparing it to the states with the lowest wages for forensic science technicians, you can see the big role location plays in wage potential. The cost of living in each state should also be considered when comparing wages from state to state.
Highest paying states for evidence technicians
- California – $88,090
- Illinois – $85,690
- Massachusetts – $79,200
- Oregon – $76,970
- Alaska – $74,100
Lowest paying states for evidence technicians
- South Carolina – $39,550
- New Mexico – $39,870
- North Carolina – $45,820
- Kentucky – $46,090
- Georgia – $46,670
How to Become an Evidence Technician (Steps and Education)
There are a few different paths towards becoming an evidence technician, and these may take anywhere from six months to four years to complete. Some schools offer crime scene technician training programs. These programs can be completed in six to 18 months. They may only require a high school diploma.
While these programs may prepare the individual for a career as an evidence technician, most employers prefer to hire candidates with more training and experience. A bachelor’s degree is the most common path towards an evidence technician career. Regardless of what training program the individual chooses, they all have one thing in common. Applicants must meet the following requirements.
- Must have a high school diploma
- Must not have any felonies
- Must pass a drug test
- Must pass a physical examination
- Must pass a criminal background check and fingerprint check
- Must pass a polygraph test
The bachelor’s degree program is usually in forensic science or in a natural science like biology or chemistry. Some forensic science programs offer students the choice of specializations like DNA, pathology, or toxicology, to name a few. Students pursuing a career as evidence technicians are advised to complete as many forensic science-related programs as possible. Completing as many internships as possible is also very important.
When choosing an evidence technician or forensic science program, students should choose an accredited program. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences offers a list of schools that offer these programs. Some individuals attend a policy academy, work as police officers for a while, and then choose to work as evidence technicians.
The work experience they’ve gained by working as a police officer is ideal for a career as an evidence technician. It also looks great on a resume. Most law enforcement agencies consider related work experience almost as important as the education or degree. Evidence technicians will receive on-the-job training once they’re hired for this position because work experience is vital in this career.
Evidence technicians must also have other skills beyond education and work experience.
- They must have excellent communication skills.
- They must have analytical minds.
- They must have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the procedures regarding evidence.
- They have the ability to keep sensitive information confidential.
- They must be able to work well with others.
- They must have critical thinking skills.
Day in the Life
A day in the life of an evidence technician can be many things: exciting, stimulating, challenging, rewarding, and overwhelming. It may be relatively quiet one day and extremely time-consuming the next day. Evidence technicians may spend their time in the lab, out in the field at crime scenes, or a combination of both.
When they’re in the lab, they have the following duties.
- Testing product samples
- Providing relevant information to law enforcement
- Analyzing evidence with a computer and microscope
- Storing, disposing of, and securing evidence for further use
- Sending evidence to the crime labs
- Creating reports of their analysis and findings
- Documenting all evidence and important information
When they’re at crime scenes, they perform the following duties.
- Making sketches of the crime scene
- Photographing the crime scene and all evidence
- Determining what is evidence and the correct way to retrieve it
- Interviewing victims and people at the scene
- Collecting the evidence such as DNA, bullets, and similar items
- Storing the evidence in a manner that will keep it safe
Crimes are committed all times of day and night and in all kinds of weather. Evidence technicians must be able to work during the day, evening, weekends, and even on holidays. It’s vital that evidence be collected and analyzed as soon as possible. They must also be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
Licensure, Certifications, and Continuing Education
Evidence technicians are not required to be licensed in any state. Although some employers may require their evidence technicians to be certified, certification is usually not a requirement for this career. Voluntary certification can be a positive boost to your resume. It is also an ideal way to show potential employers a commitment to his or her career.
Every year more and more crimes are committed, and they’re using technologies that are more advanced. The methods of evidence retrieval, analyzation and storage continue to advance as well. Therefore, evidence technicians must keep up with the latest technologies and forensic techniques. This is often accomplished through continuing education. Continuing education is also the best way to maintain certifications.
There are several certifications available to interested evidence technicians. The Certified Property and Evidence Specialist certification may be obtained through the International Association for Property & Evidence, Inc. The International Association for Identification offers the following certifications.
- Certified Crime Scene Investigator
- Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst
- Certified Crime Scene Analyst
- Certified Crime Scene Reconstructionist
Each of these certifications has specific education and work experience requirements the evidence technician must satisfy to be eligible to take the certification exam.
To become an evidence technician, a great first step is to earn a degree.
Extra Information About how to become an evidence technician That You May Find Interested
If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.
How to Become an Evidence Technician – College Educated
Evidence Technician: What Is It? and How to Become One?
Requirements and Steps To Become a Crime Scene Technician
What is An Evidence Technician? | Career Path and Overview
Evidence Technician Education Requirements – Zippia.com
How To Become an Evidence Technician: Step-by-Step Guide
How to Become a Crime Scene Technician – Purdue Global
Frequently Asked Questions About how to become an evidence technician
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how to become an evidence technician, then this section may help you solve it.
What qualifications are required to become an evidence technician?
In order to testify about their findings in court, evidence technicians must have excellent oral and written communication skills. They also need to pay close attention to even the smallest details when seeking out, gathering, and analyzing potential evidence.
How can someone without a degree work in forensics?
Students with or without a college degree can enroll in the University of California, Riverside’s Crime Scene Investigation Certificate program and complete the required courses to receive a certificate in crime scene investigation.
What duties do evidence technicians have that are most crucial?
Under general supervision, this position is responsible for receiving, recording, accounting for, storing, safeguarding, collecting, loading, transporting, verifying, releasing, and disbursing evidence as well as found or abandoned property.
What are the top two abilities a future evidence technician needs to possess?
Critical-thinking abilities. Forensic science technicians use their best judgment when matching physical evidence, such as fingerprints and DNA, to suspects. Detail-oriented. They frequently collaborate with other law enforcement officials and specialists.
Is an evidence technician the same as a crime scene investigator?
Forensic science technicians examine the evidence that has been gathered for possible clues about what happened and who might have been responsible for the crime while crime scene investigators work at crime scenes and gather evidence.
How much education is required to work as a trace evidence analyst?
a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field—chemical, physical, biological, or related—and five years of experience working in a lab analyzing forensic evidence, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience
Is math a big part of forensics?
Take a variety of college-level math courses, such as calculus, statistics, and laboratory measurements and techniques. Forensic investigation frequently necessitates mathematical calculations, just like many scientific tests and experiments.
Is a degree in forensics difficult?
There is no room for laziness in this field of study, so students who want to pursue a degree in forensic science must be prepared to put in the time to study topics like biology, chemistry, human anatomy, pathophysiology, and toxicology, which are frequently accompanied by thorough class lectures, labs, and comprehensive exams.
What does a technician in FBI evidence do?
Evidence technicians collect and process fingerprints, collect, examine, and store evidence in accordance with prescribed procedures, and maintain the chain of custody of the evidence so that it can be admitted into evidence at trial.
What kind of education is required to work as a crime scene technician?
According to the employing organization, it may be advisable to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a subject like chemistry or biology. It is typical to have at least an associate degree in forensic sciences, criminal justice, crime scene technology, or a related discipline.
Is working as a crime scene tech difficult?
They face immediate risks, such as coming into contact with blood contaminated by disease, as well as dealing with the long-term effects of working long hours and witnessing horrific crime scenes. They never know what potentially hazardous substances they’ll come into contact with, or what kind of trauma they’ll see.
Is it challenging to work as a CSI agent?
Professionals with at least two years of experience, 50 hours of crime scene processing coursework, and the ability to pass a 100-question exam are eligible for the CSI certification, which is offered by the International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA).
What position in the FBI pays the most?
The highest-paying position at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is Unit Chief, which comes with a salary of 46,194 annually. The position with the lowest pay at the FBI is Intern, which comes with a salary of 9,544 annually.
What is the age of the newest FBI agent?
According to the FBI, recruits must be no older than 36 and at least 23 years old.