About Certified Forensic Analysts
A certified forensic analyst performs all of the same job duties as a forensic analyst who does not have certification, but certified analysts are more valuable in the job market because they have demonstrated and proven their abilities within the field.
Certification is Voluntary
Unlike many career options for which certification is available, it is not necessary to become certified as a forensic analyst in order to be successful in this career choice. Certification is completely optional, but it can help individuals land more lucrative jobs with higher salaries. There are a number of different certifications that are available, as well, and each one focuses on a narrow branch of the forensics field. This is especially useful for individuals who want their areas of expertise to truly shine through.
The American College of Forensic Examiners International
There are several different certifications that are available through the ACFEI, or American College of Forensic Examiners International. Each of these has a different set of qualifications which may include years of experience, professional references, degree types, and more. Certifications through the ACFEI include but are not limited to:
• CFC – Certified Forensic Consultant: For those who are specially trained in forensic law.
• CMRSW –Certified Master Forensic Social Worker: Helps children and families in cases of domestic abuse and similar crimes.
• RI –Registered Investigator: Works in law enforcement agencies to check the competence of forensic analysts and investigators working for them.
• CMI –Certified Medical Investigator: For those who are familiar with the legal aspects associated with identifying, collecting, securing, and preserving evidence.
If you want to earn your credentials through the ACFEI, then there are many benefits to doing so. First and foremost, you’ll need to be a member. This membership grants you access to free ongoing education classes which are necessary for maintaining your credentials once you have earned them. What’s more, membership will also allow the ACFEI to place your name in the online certified forensic scientist database, allowing potential employers to verify your credentials with just a few clicks of the mouse.
The International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists
This group offers a lone certification to those who work as forensic computer analysts. These individuals must be able to work diligently with many different types of devices in order to find and secure evidence that may have been previously deleted or even partially destroyed. The certification aims to prove to employers that candidates are well-versed in many different types of technologies, and those who hold this certification must re-certify each year by attending ongoing education courses and retesting on the latest technologies.
Although none of the 50 states requires any kind of licensure or certification for legal employment (with the exception of medical examiners who may be require to have PhDs in some locations), more and more employers require certification to help distinguish the competent candidates and their potential employees. This helps to narrow down the competitive job market and ensure that only the best forensic analysts get the positions.