Career Definition for an Evidence Technician
Evidence technicians aid forensic scientists and investigators by helping to identify, secure, collect, and process evidence. Evidence technicians help survey the scene of a crime or incident; write reports; and index, catalog, and label evidence. Evidence technicians typically work for state or local governments, often in some sort of law enforcement capacity.
|Education||Associate or bachelor's degree preferable for beginning a career|
|Job Skills||Attention to detail, organization, interpersonal skills|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$57,850 (for forensic science technicians)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||17% (for forensic science technicians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
It may be feasible to start your career as an evidence technician with only a high school diploma and on-the-job training, but most people aiming to become an evidence technician have an associate's or bachelor's degree in a relevant program. Relevant degree programs include fields like criminal justice, pre-law, and forensic science. Courses you may take in such programs include evidence collection, evidence processing, cataloging and labeling, and written and spoken communication. An associate's degree in one of these programs can be completed in two years, and a bachelor's degree qualifying you for an entry-level position as an evidence technician can often be completed in four years.
Working as an evidence technician requires careful attention to detail, discipline, and keen intuition. Because they interact with many co-workers and the information they pass on is a crucial component of an investigation, evidence technicians must also have good organizational habits and good written and verbal interpersonal communication skills.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reported that economic data from May 2017 showed a median annual salary of $57,850 for forensic science technicians. Due to demand from state and local governments and law enforcement agencies, employment for evidence technicians is expected to grow 17% from 2016-2026. Some of the metropolitan regions with the highest employment for evidence technicians include Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona; New York, New York; and Washington, D.C., according to the BLS.
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