The popularity of those true-crime and crime scene technician programs on television have not only attracted a large audience of loyal fans, but have also inspired thousands of students to enter criminal law, forensic sciences, and law enforcement schools, all in hopes of joining the ranks of forensic lab and field technicians across the country. Because the field is so varied, the training can literally come from a host of different sources, and will continue on past gaining the necessary degrees or certifications, so that they can readily keep up with the ever-changing technology.
The skills you will learn in school to become a crime scene investigator are so needed these days that any certification or degree will easily lead to a career that is much in demand. Law enforcement, legal practices and even the federal government have openings for dedicated forensics professionals from all walks of life, and education.
Where to Begin Your Crime Scene Technician Training
There are so many different ways to begin your training in forensic science. Enrolling in any technical school that offers classes in criminal justice is one way to begin. Attending an accredited college or university program is another. And, these days, you can even begin your job training online, at your own pace, allowing you to take care of your beginning classes, and formal training over whatever period of time you require.
Beginning with criminal justice training is the smartest way, as you will be learning everything that you will need to be part of law enforcement, the largest employers of technician anywhere. This type of background is essential to your formal training to work in the field gathering evidence, securing crime scenes and interviewing potential witnesses as part of your daily job description.
Career Education Requirements
Before you can get into the science of forensic technology itself, you should have a good knowledge of the physical sciences, chemistry, biology, math and anatomy physiology. Along with this course of study, outside of the technology itself, the best school to enter after the general courses are behind you, is the school of criminal justice.
Because most crime scene investigator and technician positions are actually filled within law enforcement, it is essential that any student planning on having this kind of specialized career study the first couple of years as if they were becoming a police officer in the field. In some jurisdictions, the CSI functions as operating police officers in emergency situations, so all of this training will come in handy, even if the television shows may tell you otherwise.
Criminal Justice Training
You can either attend an actual criminal justice school, or complete the necessary criminal justice courses online while you complete the technical and science requirements at a university. However you wish to do so the bulk of your criminal justice training should include as many of the following courses as you can complete for the full spectrum of training available:
Crime Scene Evidence
Crime Scene Photography
Evidence Analysis and Interpretation
The next set of courses only requires that you show a proficiency in, so that you can work with law enforcement agencies, while pursuing your main career:
Fingerprinting, including applications, techniques and interpretation
Footwear Identification Proficiency
Employment Outlook and Opportunities
There are a large number of crimes that occur unfortunately on a regular basis that will require the specialized expertise of a crime scene technician. Assaults, burglaries, rapes, kidnappings, suicides, vehicular crimes, and murder will all allow you to utilize every skill you have learned so that you can be an important part of the investigation team.
Job opportunities for professional technicians can be found in law enforcement, fire departments, pathology labs, hospitals, medical examiners offices, and even insurance and detective agencies. This means that the current outlook is very good, and the number of openings is expected to grow over the next few years, as the field expands.