Learn How to Become a Crime Scene Technician

Crime scene technicians are highly trained and hold, at least a certificate, associate degree or bachelor degree. Check with the agency your are interested in working for to learn more about their specific education and experience requirements. Many law enforcement agencies give preference to those applicants with an associate or bachelor degree in criminal justice, biology, forensic science, crime scene investigation, or chemistry. Experience in a forensic laboratory, crime scene investigation and/or photography may make you a more attractive candidate as well. Most law enforcement agencies require candidates to successfully complete a background check, polygraph examination, physical examination and psychological evaluation. Current law enforcement professionals can supplement the degrees they currently hold and specialize as a crime scene technician by earning a crime scene technician certificate.

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Crime Scene Technician Job Description: What You'll Do

Crime scene technician responsibilities include detection, collection and preservation of physical evidence found at crime scenes, fingerprint processing and analysis, photography, physical evidence examination and analysis. Crime scene technicians can work along side law enforcement professionals at all levels, from the local and county police officers and prosecuters to special agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other government agencies. Those with a 4-year college degree related to criminal justice or science and specialization in the field of crime scene technician may have the most opportunity.

Crime scene technicians and crime scene investigators are similar professions and require similar education and experience. Learn more about a crime scene investigator career.

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Crime Scene Technician Salary

Crime scene technician salaries vary widely depending on the agency or department you work for and the education and work experience you possess. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for crime scene technicians is $52,840. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific curriculum and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.
Earning a degree may not qualify you for specialized careers that require more education or experience in the field.