A crime scene investigator is responsible for preserving and examining evidence collected at a crime scene. The curriculum of a 2-year Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation program includes coursework in proper handling procedures, digital photography, latent fingerprints, bloodstain analysis and more.
Some programs have a law enforcement element wherein students train to become police officers while completing crime scene investigation courses. Students study principles of forensic science and learn to re-create crime scenes and extract evidence from computers.
Admission requires a high school diploma or GED; some schools require applicants to be trained law enforcement officers. Graduates are eligible to take examinations offered through the National Certification Board and International Association for Identification, resulting in either Forensic Crime Scene Investigator or Certified Crime Scene Investigator certification.
Associate's Degree in Crime Scene Investigation
Coursework trains students to effectively manage a crime scene, including securing the scene, preventing tampering and maintaining the quality of evidence. Other topics covered include:
- Crime scene imaging
- Bloodstain patterns
- Evidence management
- Biological evidence
- Crime scene safety
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), forensic science technicians held 14,400 jobs in the U.S. in 2014 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also predicted that jobs in this profession would grow by 27% between 2014 and 2024. The median yearly salary of a forensic science technician in 2015 was $56,320.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates who have two years of experience in crime scene investigation can sit for the International Crime Scene Investigators Association's Forensic Crime Scene Investigator certification exam. Applicants are required to submit documentation of three crime scenes on which they worked and pass written and mock crime scene examinations. Graduates with one year of experience can sit for the Certified Crime Scene Investigator exam, offered through the International Association for Identification.
Associate of Applied Science in Crime Scene Investigation programs prepare students to manage crime scenes, analyze human samples, and execute safety procedures. Many graduates go on to work as forensic science technicians.