Forensic Analyst: Salaries by Profession

Forensic analysts work in many professions and specialties. Each position is similar in one aspect, which is using applications of scientific methods to aid the law. Some of the different positions within the forensic analyst specialty include medical examiners, crime laboratory analyst, crime scene examiner, and forensic biologist to name a few. The average salary for forensic analysts will vary, dependent upon the specific field of work.

Medical Examiners

Medical examiners have one of the highest paying jobs in the forensic analyst field. This is mainly because the educational requirements for medical examiners are much higher. Medical examiners must earn a bachelorís degree, a doctorate, and become certified in pathology. The average salary for a pathologist is around $200,000 per year. However, working as a medical examiner for a government agency will come with a lower salary, ranging from $75,000 to $200,000, depending on location, education, experience and the type of agency you work for.

Crime Laboratory Analysts

Within the career of Crime Laboratory Analyst, it is possible to become a generalist or specialize in certain field of the work such as biology, toxicology, fingerprinting, DNA analysis, firearms, document examination, or psychophysical detection. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of Crime Laboratory Analysts was between $20,000 and $40,000 in 1998, with pay increases up to $85,000 for experienced professionals. Working as a lab director, the average salary can be as much as $100,000 yearly.

Forensic Biologist

Forensic biologists work both in the lab and in the field, collecting biological evidence such as blood and other bodily fluids, bones, hair, and insects to help support criminal investigations. Some forensic biologists choose to specialize in areas such as pathology, entomology, botany, chemistry, DNA analysis, and anthropology. The average salary for forensic biologists ranges from $27,683 to $52,471, depending on the area of expertise, amount of experience, and location chosen to work in.

Crime Scene Examiner

Crime scene examiners have one of the most exciting careers within the forensic analyst areas of practice. Working indoors, outdoors, and at all hours of the day and night are all part of the job. Educational requirements for this position include a bachelorís degree in criminal justice or natural science. The average salary for this position depends greatly on the area you work in, with the mean annual wage at $65,860 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Forensic Engineers

Fire investigations, wrongful injury claims, and traffic accidents that require police investigation will use forensic engineers to help reconstruct the crime scene in order to fully understand what caused the accident. The average salary of a forensic engineer varies by experience, location, and employer. On average, a forensic engineer with up to four years of experience earns between $40,452 and $61,935 per year according to Payscale.com.

In general, there are many areas of forensics to choose from and each different career comes with its own pay scale. Within each area of forensics, there are also specialties to consider, which can also affect the average salary of the position.