What are my career options after attending forensic technology school?

Forensic technology school is a good way to gain access to the wide world of forensic science and criminal justice. There are a multitude of specialized subsections within forensic science, so students can generally pursue a career path that they find interesting.

The most general career would be to become a forensic technician in a crime lab. This is known as working in criminalistics, and involves the analysis of forensic evidence, such as trace evidence, biological evidence, and ballistic evidence. A forensic technician may use techniques such as DNA analysis, spectroscopy, and chromatography in order to identify the origin of tissue samples, illicit drugs, or gunshot residue.

For students that excel in chemistry, and expecially those that have had previous lab experience, there is the profession of forensic chemist. These technicians look for and identify illegal drugs at crime scenes, as well as other chemicals including residue from explosives, gunshots, and compounds used to start fires. A related field is forensic toxicology, which involves analyzing tissue, blood, and urine samples for the presence of drugs, poisons, and other chemicals.

Another career choice is to become a crime scene examiner. Crime scene examiners do not have set hours, and therefore must have a large degree of flexibility, since they must be on call to investigate crimes when and where they occur. Crime scene examiners collect evidence that may be pertinent to the case, but may also attempt to profile criminals based on the evidence at hand, as well.

A medical examiner is probably the best-paid of all forensic scientists, but also requires extensive training; generally, a medical degree. Some students that wish to become medical examiners gain both medical and forensics degrees, and take criminal justice classes, too. A medical examiner investigates dead bodies for evidence, and like the crime scene examiner, does not have set working hours, due to the unpredictable nature of crime.

There are other highly specialized jobs to be found in the world of forensic science, such as forensic odontology, which looks at teeth and their imprints, and the type of career a forensic technician ends up with is really only limited by their ambition and desires.

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