Science and Engineering
Forensic Scientist

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Salary: $28,313 - $45,539
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Hourly: $15.56 - $25.75
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 2-6 years
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Forensic science is the application of the science of physical anthropology to the legal process. A forensic scientist is one who specializes in the investigation of sudden, unexpected and violent deaths. The forensic scientist attempts to determine the identification of the deceased, the time of death, the manner of death (natural, accident, suicide or homicide) and the cause of death. If the death was by injury, the scientist attempts to determine the nature of the instrument used to cause the death. Not only does the scientist work with the deceased, but also with the physical evidence, such as bloodstains or hair, in the criminal investigation.  

Areas of Specialization

There are several different fields of interests including toxicology, trace evidence, entomology, crime scene investigation, and death investigation. Forensic scientists must also have a working knowledge of the applicability of firearm examination (wound ballistics), forensic serology and DNA technology.

Work Environment

States, counties, groups of counties, cities, military services, and federal government agencies employ forensic scientists. Law enforcement agencies or criminal investigation agencies, such as the FBI, are also common work sites for the forensic scientist.