How to Become a Forensic Scientist
Do you want to uncover the scientific secrets that lie behind the most interesting of crimes? Have you spent hours watching CSI and longing to be the one to find that key piece of evidence? Well, then a career as a forensic scientist sounds just right for you. Read on to find out how to become one!
Why Forensic Science?
The ever-growing area of forensic science is incredibly fascinating, allowing budding scientists to put their knowledge and skills into practice to help solve high-profile crimes and mysteries. You can choose to specialise in a particular area such as biochemistry, DNA analysis, body fluids or bloodstain pattern analysis, working with other experts to piece together the puzzles of life. There are a variety of ways to work your way into a career as a forensic scientist, and you can find out how to kick-start this fascinating career below!
What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Forensic Scientist?
Forensic scientists typically need 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and maths. A-Levels in a science subject are also beneficial.
The easiest way to get into a career as a forensic scientist is by completing a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, biological sciences or another science-based subject. Other areas such as geology and statistics can also be useful for entry-level roles whereby you can work your way up to becoming a forensic scientist.
If you have a degree in a different subject or a different type of qualification, you can visit the Chartered Society of Forensic Scientists to see all accredited courses and other routes into this career.
Whether you already have a forensic science degree, a qualification in an unrelated subject or are looking to study your degree online, there are a variety of online forensic scientist courses to choose from here at CoursesOnline. Explore our life sciences courses such as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in criminal psychology, a PG Diploma in criminology and criminal psychology Or a HE diploma in criminal psychology and broaden your knowledge of criminology whilst developing your investigative scientific skills.
Skill Set Required for a Forensic Scientist
Having an inquisitive mind and the patience to work hard to uncover the evidence you need is essential, as is the ability to be open-minded about the situation and evidence you are analysing. As you will be working with other professionals such as crime scene investigators, being patient when waiting on other evidence and using your communication skills is essential in this line of work.
Being able to handle stress
When visiting crime scenes, being able to handle stressful or distressing environments is a must, as well as learning to handle tough cross-examination of evidence in court. Getting some work experience in the forensic science, law enforcement or criminal justice sector is a great idea, as it will show both dedication and that you are aware of the environment you will be entering in to.
Attention to detail
Those who are already interested in a career in science may think this is an obvious skill, however, it is often overlooked. Being able to pay attention to every detail is vital, including when physically analysing data and trace evidence as well as being aware of how you interact with the crime scene or a laboratory setting. Using equipment which protects you, others and the evidence is essential, and always being mindful of this means you could be well on your way to becoming an expert forensic scientist!
What Does a Forensic Scientist Do?
As a forensic scientist, you will be in the lab uncovering scientific evidence to help criminal investigators to find out what exactly happened at the crime scene; presenting evidence and acting as an expert witness for court cases.