What Does a Forensic Analyst Do

A forensic analyst is someone who works alongside law enforcement agencies at the city, county, state or federal level to collect, preserve, and process evidence. They often spend a lot of time in their offices analyzing evidence and writing reports, but some also work in the field to gather evidence and examine crime scenes.

Why Responsibilities and Duties May Vary?

There are many different specialties from which a forensic analyst can choose, and the specific area that is chosen can have a huge impact on these individuals’ daily duties and tasks. Some specialties, such as DNA or computer analysts, will spend almost all of their time in laboratories. Others, such as blood spatter analysts or crime scene investigators, will spend most of their time out in the field examining crime scenes and other locations where evidence can be found. Another factor that may influence the duties of a forensic analyst include the industry in which he or she is employed and the size of the organization for which he or she works.

What They Do in the Laboratory?

Almost all forensic analysts will spend at least some time in a laboratory. Some of the tasks that these individuals will perform include analyzing evidence of the chemical, biological, and even physical kind using many types of sophisticated equipment; using data that is collected and/or provided to explore links between crimes, victims, and potential suspects; consulting with folks in other areas of expertise, such as toxicologists, in order to see a bigger picture and to form stronger links; and even reconstructing crime scenes in order to better understand what might have happened or how certain events took place.

What They Do at a Crime Scene?

Forensic analysts who are required to perform duties at crime scenes may first analyze and photograph the locations so that they can determine what needs to be collected as evidence and how that evidence should be collected and stored. They are responsible for taking careful notes to record exactly how and where pieces of evidence were found. They are usually the ones to collect evidence which may include bullets, guns, bodily fluids, bits of fiber, hair, and other items. Finally, they preserve and catalog the evidence when it needs to be transported to crime labs or in the event that it will need to be presented in a court case.

Tasks Common to All Forensic Analysts

Regardless of whether a forensic analyst spends most of his or her time in the lab or in the field, there are certain things that they must all do. First and foremost, these individuals spend a great deal writing up reports that are passed on to courtrooms, lawyers, and law enforcement officials. Next, they must often testify in court regarding their findings, so they must be familiar with courtroom processes. Finally, they must be able to communicate well and work well with others since it takes more than one person to put their heads together and solve crimes.

The tasks performed by forensics analysts can vary a great deal, so it is important for these individuals to have a broad scope of knowledge if they want to be valuable in the workplace. The right education, training, and experience can make all of the difference when it comes to enjoying a successful career.