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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 pieces of evidence and analysing them. Evidence can be anything like a strand of hair or a used tissue, blood sample or bodily fluid of people involved in the situation.

A crime scene investigator will collect the evidence carefully and save it for further processing in case. CSI carefully analyse 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.

Shreds of evidence need to be handled and stored carefully with expertise, and crime scene investigators are the people who perform the duty.

Crime Scene Investigator is one of the most expected job options that an aspirant can jump into after completing his criminal justice course degree. However, for having the quickest entry into crime scene investigation, one can go into the course or degree in Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Justice or Physical Science. Moreover, a person with the status of a police officer or sound education with a strong background in science can go for the position of crime scene investigator.

Career for Crime Scene Investigator:

As for the career prospects of Crime Scene Investigator, it proposes a challenging work environment for the aspirant who is intellectually sound and capable of solving complex problems related to crime. Along with the development of forensic technology, the role of crime scene investor would also increase and approve accordingly. As a crime scene investigator, you would be called on to work at complex crime scenes involving crime like a home invasion, burglary, armed robbery, homicides, and sexual assault.

A crime scene investigator’s duties consist in assessing and processing the crime scene, gathering and transferring evidence, briefing with police agencies, preparing detailed crime reports, maintaining equipment, etc.

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 earns up to $24,000, whereas experts can earn up to $104,000. Salary also depends on the geographical location of CSI. Some states pay higher than others. Therefore, it could be the right decision on your part to select the career and course of crime scene investigation.

However, one needs to follow the following points to carve out a career in crime scene investigation.

  1. Please choose the right course: As their good numbers of courses are available in the market, therefore, one should follow the most appropriate and suitable career matching with the aptitude of CSI career.
  2. Select Right College: Right college is another next important step while moving towards the career of CSI. Suppose you have defined any particular setting for your career option that you must choose the college only that fulfils your ambition of learning from the college.
  3. Please make a list of Colleges: Another step for selecting courseware of your choice in CSI by getting admission into the right college that can be aimed by making a list of colleges where one can wish to take admission into. One can take admission after prioritizing colleges based on matching up with merits standardized by the colleges.
  4. Duration of the Course: The final and the essential aspect of taking admission into a CSI course are looking for its duration. At different college and various programs, the duration of the course happens to be different and variable.

 

What A Crime Scene Investigator Do? 

  • A crime scene investigator must have the ability to collect and save the evidence 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 pieces of evidence they have collected.
  • A crime scene investigator must know forensics too, as evidence found will be investigated to uncover 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 evidence from the crime scene, analyse them and make reports about the findings. Just like Sherlock Holmes, a crime scene investigator can build up the whole Castle from a single particle of sand.

Their work demands them complete different tasks from the collection of evidence until the presentation of their report in court. They may also educate the jury and judges about their findings.

The report may attach the photographs of the 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 a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or science, like biology or chemistry, to become a crime scene investigator.

Some institutions may not require a degree, but some previous crime investigation experience will be needed to become CSI. The following procedure can lead you to your dream career.

Crime Scene Investigator Requirements:

  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. Undergo background check
  5. Submit your fingerprints.
  6. You will be interviewed for the job.
  7. Get selected as CSI.
  8. Receive training for a better understanding of the job.

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On Job Training

On the job training is necessary for CSI after hiring. In training new individual works with an experienced individual to know about the job. This is how it works.

Learning directly from experts and experienced individuals gives a better understanding of the 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 learning the latest pieces of equipment and techniques can help a lot in the investigation. 

Skills And Experience Needed

A crime scene investigator must have exceptional observational skills as a crime-scene investigation requires very keen observation. They must know how to write reports also. Keeping a 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 the ability to deal with complicated crime scenes as murders, sexual assaults and disturbing crime scenes can create emotional pressure. Coping with it skilfully is a job of crime scene investigator.

As the job requires physical fitness also so CSI must be in excellent health.

They may carry a firearm also. Training for using and handling guns is given to Crime scenes investigators.

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Risks Involved 

The job is as tricky as fun it sounds. One must have the 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 a firearm and must be in good health. The job requires odd working hours. A crime scene investigator may have to work in off-duty hours and long hours to get the investigation done. This job also demands frequent travelling for surveillance and investigation so CSI must be ready to move whenever 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

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 CSI opportunities in the near future.

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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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References:

 

How To Become A Crime Scene Investigator Full Career Guide
How To Become A Crime Scene Investigator Full Career Guide
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