Forensic Scientist General Job Description
Forensic scientists are in quite a bit of demand these days by crime investigation laboratories in both the public and private sectors. A forensic scientist’s skills in evaluating crime scene evidence such as explosives, chemicals, a variety of fibers, human and animal hair, tissues and bodily fluids are invaluable in solving crimes. Most of this work is done in a laboratory setting; however, forensic scientists may also visit the crime scene to collect evidence.
The forensic scientist must be equally comfortable and adept in a sterile laboratory setting and a hectic and often unsettling crime scene setting. Tasks range from high-tech analytic skills to ferreting about for evidence in all sorts of adverse conditions. In addition to these duties, a forensic scientist must be computer savvy and able to write clear and accurate reports and present these findings well in a court of law. If employed by a government entity, certain physical and psychological requirements as well as a thorough background check may apply.
Although forensic science skills are necessary in crime solving, competition for a position is quite fierce. Once established, attaining a promotion is not quick or easy. To earn a position as a forensic scientist, one must have a science-related degree or, better yet, a degree specifically in forensic science. Additionally, forensic scientists must posses specific personal qualities such as the ability to think independently and analytically, strong logic skills and attention to detail, and the ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Because forensic scientists may be called upon to work in a variety of emotionally charged settings, excellent interpersonal skills are a must.
Forensic Scientist Tasks
- Prepare laboratory reports and may testify in court.
- Collect, store, protect, and analyze physical evidence from crime scenes to aid investigation.