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Forensic Science Jobs for People Without a Degree

Police departments depend on forensic scientists to help in their investigations. Many of these jobs do not require a degree. This article can help identify some of these positions and give you information on each.

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Career Options for Forensic Science Jobs Without Degrees

There are many jobs available working at a police department in the forensic science field. Many of these jobs do not require a college degree. Below are a few of these positions and some vital information on each.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Document Examiner $56,750 (all forensic technicians) 27% (all forensic technicians)
Police Sketch Artist $50,790 (all fine artists & illustrators) 3% (all fine artists & illustrators)
Firearms & Toolmark Examiner $56,750 (all forensic technicians) 27% (all forensic technicians)
Crime Scene Photographer $34,070 (all photographers) 3% (all photographers)
Morgue Attendant $36,222** (2017) 27% (all forensic technicians)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

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Career Information for Forensic Science Jobs for People Without Degrees

Document Examiner

Document examiners are those people who work with police detectives to check the authenticity of legal paperwork and/or handwriting for matches. These men and women usually work independently and are called in by police for their expertise. These experts normally finish high school and pursue certification by training on the job and working with document examiners or through courses taught by experts.

Police Sketch Artist

Very few police departments can afford a full-time sketch artist and most of these professionals also are hired independently for specific work. Sketch artists use eyewitness accounts and descriptions to draw what a suspect may look like. These sketches may be used by the police and the media to get the word out on a dangerous criminal. Sketch artists may not need any formal training, however, most are high school graduates and receive some police training for their work within departments.

Firearms & Toolmark Examiner

Many police departments share the forensic lab work done by crime scene investigators. However, there are many departments who will use private firearms and toolmark examiners for ballistic work. These people work in identifying bullet markings and matching bullets with guns and other firearm issues involving criminal activity. Firearms examiners get their training through working for other firearms experts and normally they hold at least a high school diploma and certification.

Crime Scene Photographer

Larger police departments will have full-time crime scene investigators working in the division. Photography experts take photos of various crime scenes and print those photos for detectives and use in court. Smaller departments may have to hire a local photographer for major crimes. Photographers are not required to have a formal education; however, most would have been employed in a photography studio and mastered their craft of taking photos as well as working with computers.

Morgue Attendant

Morgue attendants normally have at least a high school diploma and receive their training on the job. Their primary duties include picking up the deceased and assisting in the preparation of the body for autopsy. Pathologists may request for their help when performing procedures. When finished, they make sure the body is properly identified and then placed in compartment trays.

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