Forensic Scientist Salary
|Salary||$35,970 - $86,473|
|Bonus||$511 - $50,335|
|Total Pay (|
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).)
|$35,989 - $86,614|
|Hourly Rate||$15.66 - $35.95|
|Overtime||$10.32 - $60.29|
|Bonus||$511 - $50,335|
|Total Pay (||$35,989 - $86,614|
Job Description for Forensic Scientist
Forensic scientists use the scientific method to gather and analyze material to be used as evidence by law enforcement and in court proceedings. Forensic scientists work both in the field, where they are trained to recover potential evidence, and in the forensic laboratory, where they examine that evidence and make determinations regarding its provenance. They must always engage in research to stay up-to-date with advances in the field to produce written analyses of their findings, sometimes called Certificates of Analyses, and may be called on to testify as expert witnesses in a court of law; many also train law enforcement personnel regarding forensic evidence at crime scenes. Forensic scientists typically work for state and local governments, but may work at the federal level or for private providers of forensic services.Read More...
This position can be considered interdisciplinary, as evidence-gathering and analysis can involve a broad range of academic disciplines. Typically, forensic scientists have backgrounds in biology, molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, and the academic discipline of forensic science itself. A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for this position, and some employers may require a master's degree; most employers prefer candidates who have prior experience in a forensic laboratory. A valid driver’s license is also required.
Additional requirements vary depending on the nature of the forensic scientist’s position. These positions are usually specialized into a given subfield, such as controlled substances, fingerprints, toxicology, firearms, trace evidence, DNA, or digital evidence. Some positions may have associated national qualifications which are desired in applicants, such as the International Association for Identification certification for fingerprint work.
Forensic Scientist Tasks
- Collect, store, protect, and analyze physical evidence from crime scenes to aid investigation.
- Prepare laboratory reports and may testify in court.
Pay by Experience Level for Forensic Scientist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Forensic Scientists, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $48K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $59K. For Forensic Scientists, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $67K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $71K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
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Key Stats for Forensic Scientist
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