What is a Forensic Science Technician?

Are you inquisitive and curious by nature? Are you also detail-oriented, organized, and analytical? You may be interested in a career as a forensic science technician!

A forensic science technician helps investigate crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. Most technicians specialize in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis.

What does a Forensic Science Technician do?

Forensic science technician is a blanket term for those who work in the forensic science field, such as crime scene investigators, who gather and document evidence at a crime scene, and criminalists, who are scientists who mainly work in a lab analyzing evidence.

A forensic science technician analyzing physical evidence from a test tube.

Forensic science technicians reconstruct crime scenes by studying information given to them by investigators and by conducting scientific tests on physical evidence. At a crime scene, a forensic science technician will typically do the following:

  • Walk through the scene to determine what and how evidence should be collected
  • Take photographs of the crime scene and evidence
  • Make sketches of the crime scene
  • Keep written notes of their observations and findings, such as the location and position of evidence as it is found
  • Collect all relevant physical evidence, including weapons, fingerprints, and bodily fluids
  • Catalogue and preserve evidence before transferring it to a crime lab. Forensic science technicians may use tweezers, black lights, and specialized kits to identify and collect evidence. In addition to processing crime scenes, they may also attend autopsies.

In laboratories, a forensic science technician will typically do the following:

  • Identify and classify crime scene evidence through scientific analysis
  • Explore possible links between suspects and criminal activity using the results of chemical and physical analyses
  • Consult with experts in related or specialized fields, such as toxicology, about the evidence and their findings
  • Reconstruct crime scenes based on scientific findings

Forensic science technicians who work in laboratories use chemicals and laboratory equipment such as microscopes when analyzing evidence. They also use computer databases to examine fingerprints, DNA, and other evidence collected at crime scenes in order to match them to people and things that have already been identified.

Most forensic science technicians who perform laboratory analysis specialize in a specific type of evidence analysis, such as DNA or ballistics. For example, a lab technician may look at photographs of blood splatter patterns and conduct ballistics tests on bullets found at the crime scene to determine the direction from which a shot was fired.

All forensic science technicians prepare written reports that detail their findings and investigative methods. They must be able to explain their reports to lawyers, detectives, and other law enforcement officials. In addition, they may be called to testify in court about their findings and methods.

Are you suited to be a forensic science technician?

Forensic science technicians have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

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What is the workplace of a Forensic Science Technician like?

Forensic science technicians travel to different locations around a city or region since crimes can occur anywhere. They work staggered day, evening, or night shifts and may have to work overtime because they must always be available to collect evidence.

Crime scene investigation can be distressing and unpleasant because investigators sometimes see disturbing sights.

Forensic Science Technicians are also known as:
Crime Scene Technician Crime Scene Investigation Technician Forensic Evidence Technician Forensic Lab Technician