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Forensic Scientist

A career path for those who enjoy applying the scientific method to unravel mysteries and crimes.

What Forensic Scientists Do

Forensic Scientists are primarily concerned with the collection, identification, classification, and analysis of physical evidence related to criminal investigations.

Forensic Scientists perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation.

They may testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques.

They may also serve as specialists in their area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.

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How to become a Forensic Scientist
Most Forensic Scientists in Australia complete undergraduate degree in biological sciences, health sciences or biomedicine.

Many go straight to work in a laboratory or research environment after graduation.

Some choose to pursue postgraduate studies, including a master degree or PhD. This may provide an advantage when applying for more competitive or senior roles.

In countries such as the US, many Forensic Science students opt to complete an associates degree, while others choose to complete a bachelor’s degree.

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Relevant Tasks
  • 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.

Forensic Scientists require/develop the following valuable skills

Analysis of Forensic Evidence 100%
Collecting Biological Specimens from Crime Scenes 100%
Data base user interface and query software 95%
Documentation & Report Writing 85%
Ensure Adherence to safety and quality Standards 95%
Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations 100%
Testify at legal or legislative proceedings 90%

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This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.