Career in Forensic Science

Forensic Science is that aspect of science which deals with criminal and civil laws. They collect, examine, gather and analyse any physical evidence brought to them.

Do you read a lot of mystery novels? Watch a lot of crime fiction series? Shows like Castle, CSI, White Collar and the famous CID from India, highlight the importance of forensic science in solving crimes and giving truthful testimonies. Any time you watch these shows don’t you want to solve those crimes along with the protagonists? Well, as a Forensic Scientist, you would be doing it in real life!
 
The fields of study in forensic science are really interesting as well. The areas you would be trained on as a student taking up a B.Sc in forensic sciences are: DNA analysis, Firearm examination, Collection and storage of evidence. They also prepare of reports of findings and consultations with experts regarding issues like the time of death of a victim or any DNA traces.

Career Prospects

The opportunities for a Forensic Scientist are many. As an analyst they gather evidence and investigate a crime scene, they can take up ballistics (science of projectiles and firearms) and ballistic fingerprinting (Identifying fingerprints on the bullets to find the weapon used and possibly the shooter). Alternatively, a graduate can choose to work on the field or can have a desk job, depending on his/her preference. They also attend conferences and workshops in various countries across the world acting as a diplomat for the country, or are a liaison of an investigating firm to the government.
 
The career prospects for a Forensic Science graduate are immense. They could take up jobs in various domains of the government as well as the private sector.
The day-to-day activities of a Forensic Science graduate consists the following:
  • Analysing samples in the lab
  • Applying techniques such as gas and high performance liquid chromatography, scanning electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy and genetic fingerprinting
  • Sorting and sifting evidence
  • Attending and examining scenes of crimes
  • Recording findings and collecting trace evidence from scenes of crimes or accidents
 

Jobs & Salary

There are many organisations worldwide that offer jobs for Forensic Science graduate. Some of them are listed below:


  • National Forensic Science Technology Centre – NFSTC
  • LGC Forensics
  • Forensic Access
  • Defence Science and Technology laboratory
  • Inta Forensics
Forensic Science is the backbone of the defence systems all around the world. Here are some numbers related to the pay grade of Forensic Scientists - freshers and experts alike.  
In the US, where the scope for Forensic Science is greater, technicians make a median annual salary of $50,000 per annum. Most Forensic Science technicians work closely with the investigation teams and security services followed by those in medical and diagnostic laboratories and local governments with a pay scale which is upwards $50,000.

Pros & Cons

Following are some of the advantages of being a Forensic Scientist:
  • Variety of fields to choose from- toxicology, biology or crime scene investigations
  • The job is exciting. No two days are ever the same.
  • Both the government and the private sector offers a lot of benefits to retain their skilled workforce
Following are the disadvantages of being a Forensic Scientist:
  • They are exposed to dangerous or harmful chemicals as well as dead and decomposing corpses
  • There is a constant pressure of being accurate in findings
  • The job is not a typical day job and requires working around the clock

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