Types of Forensic Analysts
A forensic analyst, sometimes referred to as a forensic scientist, performs many duties in his or her career. In almost all cases, they work for government justice departments to help analyze evidence in criminal cases. There are six fields of study within this field, but each field has a role of helping investigators solve crimes.
Crime Lab Analyst
A crime lab analyst is a type of forensic analyst who carefully look over crime scenes to identify suspects and to ensure that the wrongly accused are not prosecuted. They may specialize in certain areas even further, including blood spatters, DNA, firearms testing, and more. These individuals are required to have a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or a related field and will often receive on-the-job training, as well.
Medical examiners are typically physicians who perform autopsies in order to determine probable causes of death and gather further evidence. Oftentimes, their primary role involves determining whether a death occurred because of natural causes or because of foul play. In some jurisdictions, medical examiners must have doctorate degrees, but this isn’t the case in all locations.
Crime Scene Investigator
The duties of a crime scene investigator include collecting various types of forensic evidence for analysis in a laboratory. They may search for things such as tiny droplets of blood, fibers, hair, tissue samples, and even weapons to determine whether or not they are significant to a particular criminal investigation. They are specially trained to collect, handle and preserve evidence, and they are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a forensics-related field.
A forensic engineer has a very interesting career in that he or she investigates materials, products, and structures that cause personal injury or property damage because of failure or an inability to function as intended. They often work for insurance companies and manufacturers, and they are most well-known for their research following plane crashes. They must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, though a relevant major can help if you want to specialize in civil, chemical, or computer engineering.
A forensic technical assistant is responsible for assisting a forensic analyst in gathering and analyzing evidence or performing any other duty that is delegated to them by their employers. This is a support role, so while no formal secondary education or college degree is required, employers prefer that candidates have at least some knowledge of forensics that can be demonstrated via coursework or certificates.
Finally, a forensic academic assistant can also play a vital role in the justice system by researching facts and figures to link evidence to suspects and crime scenes. Again, because this is a support role, candidates are generally not required to have a college degree. However, they must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in research and a basic understanding of forensic science.
As you can see, there are many different things that a forensic analyst can do with his or her career. A support role is a great way to get the experience you need while you get your education, as well.