Crime Scene Investigator Job Description

Crime Scene Investigator Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a crime scene investigator job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a crime scene investigator. Feel free to use our crime scene investigator job description template to produce your own crime scene investigator job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a crime scene investigator.

 

Who is a Crime Scene Investigator?

A crime scene investigator is a forensic scientist who identifies, assembles, analyzes, and documents evidence discovered at a crime scene. They investigate crime scenes involving robberies, mass killings, sexual attacks, encroachments, and other crimes.

The outcome of their investigation has a direct impact on the criminal and legal prosecution that follows.

Crime scene investigators are also important during trials due to the importance of their expert evidence in the courtroom.

Their findings will guide police investigators and, eventually, support the state attorney general’s legal position.

A crime scene investigator collaborates with police officers, detectives, and members of the judicial system to ensure that criminal offenders are held accountable for their actions.

Before turning the scene into usable evidence for law enforcement, a crime scene investigator must first preserve it by sealing it off to ensure that it is not contaminated or altered. If the crime scene is contaminated by someone other than a member of law enforcement, a judge may rule that all of the evidence gathered is invalid.

Crime scene investigators testify in court cases and provide information about what occurred during criminal activity.

 

Crime Scene Investigator Job Description

What is a crime scene investigator job description? A crime scene investigator job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a crime scene investigator in an organization. Below are the crime scene investigator job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a crime scene investigator job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a crime scene investigator include the following:

  • Taking precise measurements and photographing every piece of evidence in order to create a comprehensive diagram of the crime scene.
  • Keeping all physical evidence in its original packaging.
  • Ensuring that family members, law enforcement officers, and medical experts relating to the crime occurred are interviewed.
  • Ensuring careful processing of crime evidence In crime labs.
  • Testifying in court about evidence collected at a crime scene using techniques such as DNA testing, fingerprint analysis, and firearms examination.
  • Participating in exercises and training constantly to improve your knowledge and skills.
  • Appearing in court to Present complex findings in a clear and concise manner so that all participants understand the significance of each piece of evidence.
  • Participating in cooperative autopsies and cause-of-death investigations with federal and state law enforcement.
  • Making detailed notes, filling out forms, writing reports to record significant evidence, and communicating key findings to others
  • Staying up to date on advances in the field of crime scene investigation.
  • Logging evidence findings in a database or logbook carefully for crime scene investigations.

 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or a closely related field.
  • Additional certification may be required.
  • Deductive reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills are all required.
  • Strong communication skills (written and verbal).
  • Knowledge of specialized software and photographic equipment.
  • The ability to work weekends, day and night shifts as well as the ability to travel.

 

Essential Skills

A crime scene investigator must have all or a combination of the following skills to be successful in this line of work:

Ability to analyze and think critically:

Crime scene investigators must compare physical evidence from crimes (such as DNA, fingerprints, and so on) to suspect databases. Understanding scientific procedures and tests are also required.

  • Observational skills:

As a crime scene investigator, you must be able to observe your surroundings and pick up on any details that may be relevant to your case. This can include looking for fingerprints on a surface, determining whether a body is still where it was discovered, or determining whether any evidence has been moved.

  • Expertise in photography:

While processing the crime scene, crime scene investigators photograph tangible evidence. They photograph the subject from various angles while properly lighting it. For them to get professional pictures of the crime scenes, they need the knowledge of how to handle the camera.

  • Composure:

Positivity under pressure is an important characteristic for crime scene investigators. According to the Crime Scene Investigator Network, Crime Scene Investigators examine horrific crime scenes involving brutal murders and copious amounts of blood on a regular basis. You must have a strong stomach to survive in this line of work. More importantly, you must maintain your composure while observing a horrific scene and concentrate on gathering evidence. In some larger communities or in high-profile situations where the press and nearby residents are present, you may need to keep your cool in order to do your jobs properly. You should feel comfortable dealing with a wide range of crimes, including homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, and other frequently graphic subjects.

 

  • Detail-oriented observation:

Identifying contradictions and minute changes to crime scenes is critical for assisting with evidence collection and analysis.

  • Math and science abilities:

For the analysis of crime scenes, some knowledge of statistics or physical sciences may be required. Crime scene investigators are to acquire these skills during their school days.

  • Patience:

It takes time and effort to process a crime scene, gather evidence, build a case, and bring a criminal to justice. Patience is required for the successful resolution of a criminal case. If you use it correctly, you’ll be able to gather the evidence needed to determine whether a criminal is guilty or innocent. If you become impatient, you may miss information that could jeopardize the prosecution’s case.

  • Analytical abilities:

Crime scene investigators must have advanced analytical skills. Analytical abilities allow them to examine a crime scene, develop hypotheses about how various pieces of evidence interact, and pursue important details. You must be highly scientifically literate and familiar with the various tools and chemicals used in evidence gathering to be considered for this position. Even though a crime scene investigator does not collect all of the evidence, he/she orders various tests and keeps track of their results.

  • Communication Skills:

To be a successful crime scene investigator, you must be able to communicate effectively. While conducting an investigation, you frequently supervise a group of lab technicians and other law enforcement officers. The Crime Scene Investigator usually assists in cutting people off the crime scene to prevent tampering with the evidence. Moreso, you offer to organize the evidence and witness statements and to discuss the evidence with other police officers. Crime scene investigators may be called as a witness in court as experts to describe the crime scene in some cases. Your ability to communicate verbally and in written form effectively keeps everyone on track.

 

  • Natural Problem-Solving Ability:

The best crime scene investigators are problem solvers. They use their scientific knowledge, analytical skills, and critical thinking to piece together testimony and evidence. In essence, forensic science careers work to develop narratives based on data analysis and hypotheses about possible past events. Problem-solving skills can leave you relevant in this career path.

  • Technical knowledge:

A crime scene investigator must be proficient with tools and technology. They must be able to operate a variety of tools, such as cameras, computers, and other machines used to process crime scenes and gather evidence.

  • A desire to learn:

Because of technological advancements in the field of forensics, crime scene investigators must be eager to learn new things. Because methods for gathering evidence, computer programs, and processing tools are all constantly evolving, the field itself is never stagnant. Those who insist on doing things the way they’ve always been done will quickly lose their skills.

 

How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator

Despite the fact that there are numerous paths to becoming a crime scene investigator, the majority of them necessitate a combination of rigorous academic work and practical (on-the-job) training, either through a law enforcement agency or through various internships at businesses, labs, and other forensic facilities.

If you’re considering a career as a crime scene investigator, you should be aware of the specific job responsibilities, required training and certification, and other relevant factors.

One typical path into this expanding and exciting field of work is as follows:

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree:

Understanding the fundamental duties of a crime scene investigator is essential. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, or a Bachelor of Science in Biology will provide you with the knowledge you need to be a successful crime scene investigator. Any of these bachelor of science degrees will allow you to continue your education or find work in the field after graduation.

People with undergraduate degrees in fields unrelated to crime scene investigation and management can learn the fundamentals of these fields by completing a crime scene technician certification program.

Alternatively, those interested in this career path can also enroll in a law enforcement academy and complete hands-on Cime Scene Investigator training. To join the police force, one must be at least 18 years old and have no felony or serious convictions on their record.

  • On-The-Job-Training:

Your practical work experience will provide you with the detailed knowledge that hiring managers seek. An internship or job as a crime scene investigator or something similar will strengthen your educational background in this field, making you a more appealing candidate. The majority of employers require six months to two years of relevant experience; some may even provide you with this experience immediately. Collecting evidence, processing it, and analyzing it are all important skills you will learn during this period.

  • Acquire state certification and licensing as a crime scene investigator:

You must also obtain professional credentials as a certified crime scene investigator to distinguish yourself from other applicants. The requirements for obtaining a state license as a crime scene investigator differ from state to state. The International Association for Identification provides the tests for the professional group of crime scene investigators (IAI). You can become a Certified Crime Scene Analyst (CCSA), Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst (CCSA), Certified Crime Scene Reconstructionist (CCSR), or Certified Crime Scene Investigator (CCSI) through them (CSCSA). Certification is determined by your educational background, professional experience, and intended position.

  • Complete fingerprinting and background checks:

Because of the nature of the job, a background check and fingerprints are almost always required before being hired as a crime scene investigator. A clean record is essential, even if minor mistakes like traffic tickets or other infractions are acceptable. If you’re unsure whether a previous incident will affect your ability to get hired, consider contacting local law enforcement or private organizations.

  • Create a Strong Resume:

A well-written resume will increase your chances of being called for an interview and of standing out from other candidates who are similarly qualified. Your resume should include any formal education credentials or certifications you hold, a brief but thorough description of any relevant employment history, and a highlight of your relevant skills.

Entry-level candidates can add substance and personality to their resumes by listing their knowledge of additional languages, memberships in professional organizations, or extracurricular activities.

You can also increase your chances of getting an interview by tailoring your resume to the job you’re applying for, including relevant keywords from the job description, and emphasizing your strongest transferable skills.

  • Further your Education:

A master’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or crime scene investigation will increase your chances of landing a job. A graduate degree allows you to specialize in a specific field, which usually opens up opportunities for advancement in your career. Among the topics of study are crime causes, crime prevention, crime control, research analysis, homeland security or public safety administration, and criminal justice research. A master’s degree in science can lead to a job managing a crime lab and overseeing various forensic science departments, or it can lead to a career in federal law enforcement.

 

Where to work as a Crime Scene Investigator

Crime scene investigators work in a variety of settings, including criminal laboratories, police departments, coroner’s offices, and government agencies.

As a crime scene investigator, you can work with fire departments, military police, and all levels of civilian law enforcement. Crime scene investigators work with the FBI, local police, and private laboratories. Defence attorneys will occasionally ask private crime scene investigators for a second opinion on a piece of evidence. These investigators can work as freelancers, and many of them make a living by providing expert testimony in court.

 

Crime Scene Investigator Salary Scale

According to indeed.com, the average annual salary for a crime scene investigator is around $68,602. Salary estimates range from $14,000 to $153,000 per year, depending on education, certification, years of experience, and whether the employer is a non-profit or a private company.

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