Your career in Crime Scene Investigation starts here:
Whether you are just starting out in crime scene investigation or you are looking to advance your career, the field has lots of opportunity for you to grow and advance. Crime scene investigation is constantly evolving, and the manner in which analysis is performed, scenes are preserved and processed, and documentation is taken is continually being improved. The field of crime scene investigation includes everyone who works on a crime scene as part of the forensic team.
Beyond the Degree
All too often, people think that just a degree is what is going to get them the career they want. In CSI, you must go beyond the degree and become a lifelong learner. Join organizations, get certifications, attend conferences, meet and network with peers and stay at the forefront of advancements in the field so you can be successful.
The great thing about crime scene investigation is that there is something for everyone in this field. If you prefer to be hands-on, you can let your education and experience take you that direction, and if you would rather be in an administrative or leadership role, you can do that in the field of CSI.
Be a part of the CSI team
Whether you are a part of the forensics team and you work the scene, or you come in after the crime and deal with the body in the autopsy, there is room for you in the field of crime scene investigation. In larger metropolitan areas you may have multiple CSI teams for one police department, and in rural areas you may work across multiple towns, the job of a CSI is varied, intensive and important to bringing justice to families and victims.
More than a Science Career
While a career in crime scene investigation involves a lot of scientific study and analysis, not everyone on the CSI team has a science background. There are many members of the CSI team in leadership positions, as well as those who follow an administrative path. No matter what you decide, there is room for people with all sorts of backgrounds on the CSI team.
Find your ideal CSI career
Whether you like scientific study or numbers and paperwork, there are a variety of careers within a CSI team. From the scientists and medical doctors who analyze evidence and bodies and make official determinations, to the police officers and crime scene supervisors who deal with law enforcement and leadership at the scene itself, there are many players who assist at crime scenes to bring justice to victims and their families.
Known professionally as a Firearm and Toolmark Examiner, this member of the team analyzes and collects evidence having to do with ballistics.
A strong foundation in the natural sciences is a requirement for a Forensic Scientist, and you’ll engage in lab work and analysis.
An autopsy technician works with the Coroner or Medical Examiner during autopsy and after to prepare bodies for burial or cremation.
A Medical Examiner is a Medical Doctor who examines bodies after death, determines cause of death and creates the death certificate.
DNA Analysts typically work in crime labs examining DNA samples and using DNA to identify individuals involved in crimes.
Unlike the Medical Examiner, the Coroner is an appointed official who works in or with the Sheriff’s department to establish cause of death.
The Crime Scene Investigator is an integral part of any crime scene investigation, with their notes and discoveries used in prosecutions and sentencing.
Fingerprint Analysts work in the field or in the lab to collect and analyze fingerprints, palmprints and footprints to assist in identification.
A Crime Scene Supervisor establishes an organized approach to managing a crime scene through leadership and process.
A Police Officer is a key member of the Crime Scene Investigation team – often first on the scene, preserving evidence for Forensics.
An Arson Investigator works with the fire department to ensure that the causes and conditions related to any suspicious fires are investigated.
An Criminal Profiler works on a police investigation with detectives and the rest of the CSI team to determine the profile of the criminal.
A Criminalist works as a forensic science technician on an active crime scene to determine the culprit in a criminal investigation.
Earn Your Degree
The beginning of a career in CSI typically starts with higher education. For a hands-on role in evidence collection and discovery, then a degree in Forensic Science is for you. For police and administrative roles, explore the field of Criminal Justice.
Depending on your role, continuing education and specialization in the various areas of CSI will set you apart and allow you the opportunity to advance your career or to work on more robust crime scene investigation teams in large cities.
Begin Your Career
Even with education and licensure, you will still have to work your way into some positions through a combination of time, experience and interview. Just like with any role, networking and finding a mentor early on are indispensable parts of this career.