Forensic Analyst Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a forensic analyst job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a forensic analyst. Feel free to use our forensic analyst job description template to produce your own forensic analyst job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a forensic analyst.
Who is a Forensic Analyst?
A forensic analyst is a scientist who assists law enforcement organizations at all levels of government by processing and analyzing criminal evidence. They collaborate with law enforcement personnel such as police officers, federal agents, and attorneys on criminal proceedings.
As a Forensic Analyst, your primary focus will be on locating and analyzing contact traces associated with crimes. These traces to be analyzed could include blood and other bodily fluids, hair, garment fibres, paint, glass fragments, tyre marks, fire-starting materials, and flammable liquids.
Forensic analysts frequently review evidence in forensic crime labs to identify suspects. The majority of a forensic analyst’s time is spent in a crime lab doing tests. They may be called to crime sites on occasion to acquire evidence or analyze evidence gathered by cops, detectives, or other law enforcement officials. Their work can be hazardous because they may be compelled to handle bodily fluids and firearms. Others in the criminal justice field gather evidence on their own when visiting crime scenes.
As a Forensic analyst, you must be able to perform fine, analytical, time-consuming work with great attention to detail and a logical, unbiased, and rigorous approach to problem-solving. More so, you should also be able to communicate scientific material to non-experts through good written and oral communication skills.
A degree in forensic science or a scientific subject, such as biology or chemistry, is usually required to work as a forensic analyst. Similarly, prior experience working in a lab, such as in a hospital or research centre, is required. Job opportunities in biological research and development are available for forensic analysts on occasion.
Forensic Analyst Job Description
What is a forensic analyst job description? A forensic analyst job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a forensic analyst in an organization. Below are the forensic analyst job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a forensic analyst job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The following are the tasks and responsibilities every forensic analyst is expected to perform in any organization that requires forensic analyst services:
- Gathering and analyzing evidence from crime sites to aid in a criminal investigation.
- Assisting crime scene investigators in the examination and analysis of physical evidence retrieved from crime scenes such as blood, hair, fingerprints, and guns
- Ensuring that documents and any findings are carefully recorded after testing any evidence.
- Putting together a comprehensive report outlining the results and recommendations.
- Entering and searching for unrecognized fingers and palm prints using various automated biometric identification systems.
- Ensuring that evidence is processed in the lab for latent prints, blood, DNA, and other signs of evidence using a range of chemical and physical development processes.
- Conducting training and knowledge sharing with other agencies and other groups such as schools and professional organizations to provide new forensic professionals with training and guidance.
- Giving advice to police officers and crime scene investigators on how to conduct criminal investigations in order to obtain positive results.
- Investing little time at crime scenes in physical evidence recovery while investing long hours in the diagnostic testing evidence.
- Examining evidence utilizing scientific procedures such as microscopy, chemistry, and biology.
- Preserving forensic knowledge, certifications, and procedures as well as training in the department’s standards for gathering and examining evidence.
- Assuring adequate cleaning and upkeep of laboratory tools and equipment.
- Ensuring that safety protocols are rigorously followed while inspecting the evidence.
- Appearing in court to testify as an expert witness on evidence-gathering methods, techniques, and latent print examinations
- Keeping track of the actions of faculty, students, lab assistants, and other employees.
- Engaging in the development of novel technologies and techniques for validation.
To effectively and efficiently discharge your duties and be hired by employers for this job position, you must have the following credentials:
- A degree in genetics, forensic sciences, or a related discipline is required.
- Previous forensic analyst experience in a reputable firm.
- Excellent communication and teamwork abilities.
- Independent and private.
- Solid research abilities.
- Outstanding problem handling ability.
- Excellent analytical thinking skills.
- Capability to handle emotional situations.
- capable of remaining objective when scrutinizing prospective court evidence.
- Outstanding Laboratory Practices.
- Proficient in the use of a computer to perform a task.
- Capacity to work under deadline pressure.
- Excellent time management skills.
Critical thinking, communication, working within the law, using lab equipment, and handling crime scenes are all essential skills for forensic analysts. As a result, the following skills are required for a forensic analyst to excel in this field:
- Detail-oriented observation:
In order to carry out their professional tasks, forensic scientists may analyze worn-out, damaged, or otherwise difficult to view and evaluate objects of evidence. Their employment may require them to notice minor distinctions and subtleties. They must assess and document the evidence while following stringent standards and rules. By being detail-oriented and adhering to the exact laws and guidelines, they can avoid any uncertainty from law enforcement or a jury regarding the results of their findings.
- Active listening:
In addition to physical evidence, forensic analysts need outside knowledge about the circumstances of a crime or the participants to help them understand the facts. If you have good active listening abilities, you may find it simpler to stay aware and open to verbal and non-verbal clues from informants or law enforcement agents. This allows you to assess data and results while considering every possible circumstance.
- Deductive reasoning:
Forensic analysts can use a number of proofs and other information to ascertain the facts of a crime. In this career path, deductive reasoning is utilized throughout a criminal investigation to form a hypothesis, collect and analyze supporting evidence, and then reach conclusions that either validate or disprove the initial premise. This can help forensic analysts generate trustworthy and valid results.
- Excellent reporting and research skills:
A forensic analyst’s profession requires a lot of reading, investigation, and report writing. As a result, passion for reporting and research is essential for success in this sector. Your ability to research helps you to explore more and exposes you to trends in this field.
- Communication skills:
As a Forensic analyst, you must be able to effectively communicate orally and in writing with law enforcement officials as this will help you collaborate and work with others easily.
- Impartial and trustworthy:
A forensic analyst must possess both integrity and objectivity. He or she must constantly assess and present test results in accordance with best practices.
- Critical thinking and analysis:
One of the primary roles of a forensic scientist is to undertake molecular, biological, and chemical investigations of criminal evidence, which necessitates analytical and critical thinking skills. In order to acquire reliable answers, they may analyze all potential possibilities and rule out all viable alternatives before drawing any conclusions regarding the reliability of the criminal evidence.
- Time Management:
It may be essential to collect and preserve evidence in order to solve a case before particular pieces of evidence decay, disintegrate, or expire. The conclusions established by forensic scientists may also be required for other investigators to continue their investigation. This means that being able to manage your time well and stick to a schedule is essential for this employment.
How to become a Forensic Analyst
Anyone interested in this professional path should normally obtain a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education before enrolling in degree programs. Prerequisite courses or assumed expertise in at least one of the following areas are usually required: biology, chemistry, physics, arithmetic, and/or English. After completing their secondary school diploma, aspiring forensic analysts can begin their careers in this profession by following the step-by-step steps below:
- Obtain the Required College Degree:
However, ambitious forensic scientists should consider completing a bachelor’s degree program in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, forensics, or a similar field. A four-year degree can boost earnings potential and job opportunities while also opening possibilities to occupations in adjacent sectors, notably in the laboratory.
In addition to general education requirements, forensic scientist bachelor’s degrees include courses in criminalistics, forensic biology, organic chemistry, and other topics. A bachelor’s degree from an authorized institution or university is required by the majority of jobs. The qualifications for entry-level or trainee positions in one of the forensic science specialties frequently differ depending on the law enforcement or governmental body.
- Acquire one to three years of experience:
Many forensic science graduates now choose to get professional experience in hospitals, police departments, municipal and federal agencies, medical and diagnostic labs, and other settings. This not only bridges the academic theory-practice gap, but it may also allow these professionals to qualify for national certification.
- Obtain Licensure and Certification:
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that licenses and certifications are not required for employment, they can help you demonstrate your credentials and area of expertise. The bulk of these credentials attests to your ability to collect, handle, preserve, and process various forms of data and evidence. Certificates may also be handy if you wish to work at a higher level or be paid more.
However, a variety of organizations provide forensic analysts with licenses and certifications.
The following organizations provide forensic science certifications:
- The American Board of Criminalistics
- The American Board of Forensic Toxicology
- The American Board of Forensic Document Examiners
- The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators
- Association of Women in Forensic Science
- Society of Forensic Toxicologists
The requirements for these certificates vary, and they often include at least a bachelor’s degree in a forensics-related discipline, job experience, recommendation letters, payment of an application fee, and passing a test.
The American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) requires official transcripts, a recent passport-style photo, three professional references, verification of three years of experience, a $150 application fee, and passing a thorough exam before one gets certified. This certification is also available at the diplomatic level for persons with relevant doctoral degrees and three or more years of work experience.
In the same vein, the International Association for Identification (IAI), provides more specific credentials that demonstrate proficiency in fields such as forensic art, bloodstain pattern analysis, and ten-print recognition.
- Search for Forensic Analyst Job Vacancies and Apply:
Once you have obtained the necessary education, abilities, and experiences for this career path, you can begin looking for and applying for work possibilities.
There is no single area where positions are posted, therefore check the websites of relevant professional groups, law enforcement agencies, and large businesses, as well as trade periodicals.
Check with your university for possible contacts. Some university departments and employers have close links.
- Participate in ongoing Education:
Finally, in order to excel as a forensic analyst, you must continue to participate in annual continuous training because forensic science is always growing, thus it will be critical for you to stay current with new research and discoveries throughout your career. There are numerous methods to accomplish this, and your employer may be able to lead you in the direction of online courses that will assist you with meeting the required amount of hours to keep your certification alive. The courses you take will keep you up to date on the most recent methodology since they will be strongly focused on modern technologies and evidence-gathering procedures. You can also attend a series of events such as conferences, lectures, workshops, and seminars for professional development.
Furthermore, for forensic analysts who are in the middle of their careers and wish to advance their expertise and credentials, a master’s or doctoral degree is an appealing alternative.
Where to Work as a Forensic Analyst
Because law enforcement is a function of the government, the principal employers of forensic analysts are government departments (municipal, provincial/state, and federal). Forensic analysts could also work for medical institutions, academic research divisions, public health labs, and firms that specialize in sectors such as fire investigation.
Forensic Analyst Salary Scale
The pay scale for forensic analysts might vary depending on a variety of factors such as their level of education, place of employment, skill set, and many more.
According to the data obtained from payscale.com, an entry-level forensic analyst with less than one year of experience can expect to earn $61,140 in total compensation, which includes tips, incentives, and overtime pay. Furthermore, the typical total remuneration for an entry-level forensic analyst with 1-4 years of experience is $68,598. According to the same source, the total income for a mid-career forensic analyst with 5 to 9 years of experience is $73,469 per year.
In the same vein, a Forensic Analyst with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total salary of $81,085. Employees in their late careers (20 years and up) earn an average total salary of $76,500.