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How To Become A Crime Scene Investigator Full Career Guide

Criminal Justice Career Guides

How To Become A Crime Scene Investigator Full Career Guide

A crime scene investigator investigates the crime scene by carefully collecting the evidences and analyzing them. Evidence can be anything like a strand of hair or a used tissue, blood sample or bodily fluid of people involved in situation.
A crime scene investigator will not only collect the evidence carefully but also save it for further processing in case. CSI carefully analyze all the facts and try to find out missing blanks to solve the case. In short,  what, why and how?  In crime scene is solved by crime scene investigator.
Evidences need to be handled and stored carefully with expertise and crime scene investigators are the people who perform the duty.

What A Crime Scene Investigator Do? 

A crime scene investigator must have ability to collect and save the evidences properly.
They must prepare the case by making reports and documents about their fact findings.
Crime scene investigators can be summoned in court to testify about the evidences they have collected.
A crime scene investigator must have knowledge of forensics too as evidence found will be investigated well to find the mystery hidden behind them.
Many organizations like crime laboratories , police departments or law institutions hire crime scene investigators.

Duties And Responsibilities Of CSI

Crime scene investigators collect evidences from crime scene, analyze them and make reports about the findings. Just like sherlock Holmes a crime scene investigator can build up whole Castle from single particle of sand.
Their work demands them to complete different tasks from collection of evidence till presentation of their report in court. They may also educate jury and judges about their findings.
In report,  they may attach the photographs of crime scene and detailed information about the situation.

Requirements to become a crime scene investigator?

Any individual can pursue the career of crime scene investigators if they are interested. A candidate must have bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or in science field like biology or chemistry to become a crime scene investigator.
Some institutions may not require degree but some previous crime investigation experience will be needed to become CSI. Following procedure can lead you to your dream career.
  1.  Earn a required degree.
  2. Get your experience as some institutions may need experienced individuals for the job.
  3. Apply for the job.
  4. Under go background check
  5. Submit your finger prints.
  6. You will be interviewed for the job.
  7. Get selected as CSI.
  8. Receive training for better understanding of job.

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On Job Training

On job training is necessary for CSI after hiring. In training new individual works with experienced individual to know about job.  This is how it works.
Learning directly from experts and experienced individuals gives better understanding of job and how to perform tasks and duties. Training can include the full process of collection of evidence like taking photographs, making points about important hints, death scene processing, fingerprints expertise and blood analysis.
A CSI must remain up to date and know the use of modern technology as science has introduced new heights in forensics and knowing latest equipments and techniques can help a lot in investigation. 

Skills And Experience Needed

A crime scene investigator must have exceptional observational skills as crime-scene investigation requires very keen observation. They must know how to write reports also. Keeping record of minimal details can be very helpful in solving the case.
Good communication, verbal and written skills are necessary for this job. A crime scene investigator work with police officers,  detectives and different law enforcement institutions.
A CSI must have ability to deal with complicated crime scenes as murders,  sexual assaults and disturbing crime scenes can create emotional pressure. Dealing with it skillfully is a job of crime scene investigator.
As the job requires physical fitness also so CSI must be in very good health.
They may carry fire arm also. Training for using and handing firearms is given to Crime scenes investigators.

Risks Involved 

The job is as tricky as fun it sounds. One must have skills to deal with the risks and complications involved.
CSI have to deal with difficult situations,  both emotionally and physically. So he must be aware of the risks involved. He may carry firearm and must be in good health. Job requires odd working hours. A crime scene investigator may have to work in off-duty hours and for long hours to get investigation done. This job also demands frequent travelling for surveillance and investigation so CSI must be ready to move when ever needed.

Other Job Titles For CSI

A CSI may also be titled as
  1. Crime scene technician
  2. Evidence technician
  3. Forensic investigator
  4. Scenes of crime officer
  5. Crime scene Analyst

Crime Scene Investigator Salary

Salary of crime scene investigators depends on their education,  experience and their skill set level. An entry level crime scene investigator earn up to $24,000 where as experts can earn up to $104,000. Salary also depends on geographical location of CSI. Some states pay higher than others.

Job Growth

According to BLS, the demand for crime scene investigators is expected to grow by 7% at the end of 2026. Advancement in science and technology and increased crime rate will create new opportunities for CSI in near future.

Other Related Careers

If you are interested in other careers that are related to crime scene investigation,  here is a list
  1. Crime Lab Analyst
  2. Forensic Accountant
  3. Computer Forensics investigator
  4. Blood Spatter Analyst
  5. Forensic Anthropologist
  6. Forensic Nursing
  7. Forensic Psychologist
  8. Forensic Ballistics expert
  9. Forensic science technician.
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