What do Forensic Science Technicians do?

Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.

  • Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
  • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
  • Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
  • Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
  • Take photographs of evidence.
  • Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
  • Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.
  • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
  • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
  • Train new technicians or other personnel on forensic science techniques.
  • Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.
  • Prepare solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
  • Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
  • Interpret laboratory findings or test results to identify and classify substances, materials, or other evidence collected at crime scenes.
  • Examine physical evidence, such as hair, fiber, wood, or soil residues to obtain information about its source and composition.
  • Examine firearms to determine mechanical condition and legal status, performing restoration work on damaged firearms to obtain information such as serial numbers.
  • Analyze gunshot residue and bullet paths to determine how shootings occurred.
  • Compare objects, such as tools, with impression marks to determine whether a specific object is responsible for a specific mark.
  • Determine types of bullets used in shooting and if fired from a specific weapon.
  • Identify and quantify drugs or poisons found in biological fluids or tissues, in foods, or at crime scenes.

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Necessary Skills

  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Active Listening
  • Instructing
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Active Learning

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