How To Become Blood Spatter Analyst
Modern forensics applies both, the technology and knowledge to sort out all sorts of violent crimes from assault to first degree murders. To become a blood spatter analyst you need to qualify certain education level and attain the required training. Although the current employment for forensic science field is lesser however the employment rate is expected to grow because of the heavy crime caseloads and advancement in technology.
This article will guide you about the path which you can follow for how to become a blood spatter analyst and the employment opportunity for the job of blood spatter analysts along with the salaries that they are offered by the employers.
What do blood spatter analysts do?
Blood spatter analysts are type scientists that deal with the blood portion of a crime. The blood spatter analysts collect the blood related evidence, examine them in the laboratories, prepare reports about their findings and testify their statements in the courts. The blood spatter analysts reach to their conclusions based on the blood present at the crime scene. In a recent case, blood spatter analysts measured the amount of force used during a murder by looking at the blood present in a crime scene. By doing so, the blood spatter analysts were able to prove the conviction.
The blood spatter analysts examine the location, amount and size of the blood present at a crime scene. The blood spatter analysts can also determine the location of the victim at the time of crime, and the height and position of the weapon from which the victim was attacked. The direction from which the victim was attacked can also be determined by a blood spatter analyst.
The blood spatter analysts help the law enforcing agencies in determining the weapon used to attack the victim. Often the law enforcement agencies are unable to detect the weapon that was being used. The blood spatter analysts look for the blood strain patterns and determine the weapon which causes similar type of patterns. The expert analysts can also determine whether the victim was attacked with a knife or a gunshot.
Blood spatter analysts use different types of equipment to document the crime scene including 3D scanners, digital camera, scales, levels, magnifying loops, tape measures, protectors and scientific calculators. After the collection of evidence from the crime scene, the blood spatter analysts painstakingly document evidence before packing them in bags for later use in the laboratories.
Some blood spatter analysts work exclusively in laboratories operated by government agencies and private forensic companies. Often the blood spatter analysts have work in odd hours for collection of evidence from the crime scene.
Career Description, Duties, and Common Tasks
The blood spatter analyst is responsible for collecting the blood from the crime scene no matter the quantity. From a minor print to a long trail, collecting all the blood-related evidence from the crime scene comes under a blood spatter analyst’s responsibility.
The techniques which you will be using as a blood spatter analyst are as follows:
· Taking photographs
· Using swabs and ultraviolet rays to collect light evidence.
· Recreating spatters in the lab.
You will also be responsible for using computer software to prepare simulations that can be used for analysis. Based on this analysis, you can either confirm or deny the suspects’ statements and the witnesses.
So, a blood spatter analyst’s job is crucial because the whole criminal case depends on the analysis made by him during his investigation on the evidence.
Possible Job titles for Blood Spatter analyst
If you are one of the aspiring candidates who are willing to become a blood spatter analyst and join the criminal justice system, you need to meet all the requirements and go through the tests. Once you are selected into an organization, these are the job titles you are going to Enjoy;
· Blood Spatter Analyst
· Bloodstain Pattern Analyst
Work Environment for the Job of Blood Spatter analyst
The work environment for blood spatter analysts is not ideal for people who have weak hearts. During the job, you will have to visit the crimes continually; you will cross blood and other bodily fluids. The best way is to take all the precautionary measures before going to a crime scene so that you should not faint when you see the blood.
The blood spatter analyst is constantly working with the criminal investigator and other analysts. Most of the time, the employers for this position are federal and state run laboratories or Police departments.
The experienced blood spatter analysts have vast chances of employment in private organizations. The blood spatter analysts can work as contractors or witnesses for private attorneys.
Work Schedule of blood spatters analysts
As a blood spatter analyst, you will have to work from Monday to Friday, but you can expect to be called on work on Saturdays and Sundays.
During the weekdays, you will be working in the laboratory until and unless a crime is reported. Once a crime in which blood is involved gets reported, you will have to go to the crime scene and collect the evidence immediately.
On weekends, you will be on holiday unless you are called on a crime scene for collecting the evidence.
Blood Spatter Analyst Education And Training Requirements
Steps for becoming a blood spatter analyst
How To Become A Blood Spatter Analyst
If you are interested in becoming a blood spatter analyst, these are the steps that you will have to follow
- Blood Spatter Analyst degree in natural sciences such as biology, Chemistry or forensic science degree. Usually a bachelor’s degree is required for the job however there are analysts who have an associate degree with several years of experience who are excelling in the field.
- Gain certification through your state, if required by the state.
- Apply for the position of blood spatter analysts. Some states have higher completions for the post while others have less.
- Pass a background check and drug test.
- Give interview for the job and get hire for an entry level position
- Expect to complete several years of on job training before you can work on cases alone
- Take workshops and classes to keep you knowledge updated.
What training is required to become a blood spatter analyst?
For a blood spatters analyst the training duration is up to one year. The trainees work closely with an experienced analyst who teaches them the fine details about the blood spatter analysis. The training includes the methods which are used in collection of evidence from the crime scene, the ways to preserve and handle these evidences carefully and the tests that are to be performed during the analysis.
The training includes both, the crime scene investigation and work in the laboratory. The blood spatters analysts have to continue their education throughout their career so that they are aware of new technologies and crime scene investigation methods.
The FBI scientific working group on blood spatter analysis has established guide lines for trainees. Most of the law enforcement agencies follow these training. There are requirements set by the group which a trainee has to meet before he can work on cases alone.
The training guidelines state that
- A trainee must have an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in a field related to blood spatters analysis such as biology or chemistry. The candidates with a high school degree can qualify if they have four years of experience.
- A trainee must work under a mentor during the training. The mentor has to monitor the trainee and ensure that the curriculum of the FBI scientific working group is followed. The mentor has to evaluate the progress of the trainee. The duration of the training program depends on the progress of the trainee and will have to follow a competency test at the end of training.
- In addition to the competency test, the trainee has to prove his competency in several areas related to blood spatter analysis. The trainee has to prove that he is well aware of handling the evidence and equipment used for the collection of evidence such bio hazard equipment.
- A trainee must be aware of the law of physics such as gravity, frictional forces and surface tension.
- The trainee has to demonstrate his ability to analyze data, identify problems, collect data and form hypothesis.
- The trainee must have an understanding of how environmental factors can affect the evidence over time.
- Additionally a trainee must demonstrate his proficiency in documenting crime using notes, photography and sketches.
- Some mentors test the trainees throughout the training program and let them work independently in the areas in which the trainees have proven their proficiency.
- After passing the training program a qualified blood spatter analyst must take eight hours of continuing education each year.
Do bloods spatter analysts need a license or certification?
The blood spatter analysts are advised to join professional organizations and many professional organizations provide certifications. Licensing and certification may vary depending on the state in which you seek employment. Many blood spatter analysts choose to get a certification in order to get weightage in their resume.
Many organizations certify the blood spatter analysts who meet the requirements of FBI scientific working group and their own requirements. For example an organizations requirement was to complete 240 hours of training, the analysts who had completed this duration got certificates from the organization.
Some professional organizations conduct workshops and seminars that cover wide range of topics related to forensic sciences. Attending these seminars help the blood spatters analysts to learn about the emerging trends in the field. Attending these seminars can be a contributing factor in their knowledge as well as their resume.
Other Helpful Skills, Competencies, And Experience for blood spatter Analyst
If you are an aspiring candidate for the position of blood spatter analyst, you must start focusing on the skills that will help you get the job of a blood spatter analyst. Not only this, but these skills are also helpful even during your job. These are the skills that would be beneficial for you:
The photographs taken during the evidence collection will be later used by the experts to determine some critical elements of the crime; therefore, the pictures must be taken from every angle so that all the parts of the crime scene are captured.
· Communication: T
he analysts need to communicate with other law enforcement agencies for which they must have excellent communication skills. You must emphasize verbal as well as written communication skills.
· Problem solving ability:
The analyst needs to solve problems and answer the questions about what happened at the crime scene. The analysts will draw an original image of the crime scene and conclude. In doing so, the analyst must have the ability to solve the problem using his mental abilities.
· Attention to detail:
A blood spatter analyst must focus on every aspect to create computer simulation. For this, a blood spatter analyst needs to pay attention to every detail to draw every moment at the crime scene by examining the blood patterns. Moreover, the evidence collection and its preservation also require attention to detail.
The Sketches drawn during the evidence collection will also be used for later investigations and observations. For example, to determine a killer’s position, a blood spatter analyst needs to draw his exact position and distance from the victim. As these sketches are crucial for deciding several critical elements of the crime scene, they must be drawn professionally.
· The habit of Taking notes:
Human memory is not perfect; there are often things which we forget, and if you have the habit of taking notes, you can come up with this problem. For example, if you have received records of the observations that you made while collecting the evidence, it will help you remember then while you are working in the lab.
Many of the blood spatter analysts have prior law enforcement experience. The experience can be either academic or practical. For example, if you have worked in any law enforcement agency, that is a practical experience while the academic experience is earned through educational degrees. If you are a college student, the advice is to take courses that are more science and forensics oriented, such as biology and chemistry.
Another essential element for the job of blood spatter analyst is to get certifications from reputed institutions. These certifications will give you more skills and increase the chances of your employment as a blood spatter analyst.
The most reputable institutions from which you can get certifications are:
· International Association for Identification
· American Board of Criminalistics.
Job prospects for blood spatters analysts
The bureau of labor statics projected a 17% job growth for all the fields of forensic technicians from to 2026. As the job of blood spatters analysts fall under the category of forensic technicians, the job opportunities for this field are expected to grow as well.
According to a survey, the new number of jobs available will exceed the figure of 3,000.
High crime rates may compel the state and federal agencies to hire more forensic technicians in the upcoming years. Technological advances promises to more accurate results in the field of forensics which will result in more accurate results for criminal cases. Therefore the jobs of forensics are expected to boost up in the upcoming years.
If you have planned to join the field of blood spatters analysts, you are on the right track. Just follow the steps and it will lead you to your destination.
Salary of blood spatter analysts :
According to the bureau of labor statics the average annual salary of a blood spatter analyst is $57,000. A blood spatter analysts can expect to earn $42,000 during the initial phase of his job. The salary increases with increase in knowledge, experience and credibility in the field.
The top earners earned up to $100,000 per year. The laboratories pay the highest salaries to the blood spatters analysts and federal and local government agencies were the second to pay the most salaries to the blood spatters analysts.
State Wise Blood Spatter Analysts Average Salary
|State||Avg. Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia||$62,730|
The top earning state is Alaska where the average annual salary of a blood spatter analyst is $72,690
The Top five States which are paying the highest salaries to the blood spatter analyst are:
|Alaska $72,690||Alaska $72,690|
|Rhode Island $68,000||Rohde Island $68,000|
|Connecticut – $67,900||Connecticut – $67,900|
|New York – $65,560||New York – $65,560|
|Oregon – $64,880||Oregon – $64,880|
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