Forensic Scientist Salary

The average Forensic Scientist in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $50K annually. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a majority collect dental insurance. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$35,738 - $87,405
(Median)
$36K
$50K
$87K
MEDIAN: $50,238
10%
50%
90%

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$17.69 - $33.81
(Median)
$18
$23
$34
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$35,738 - $87,405  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $23,323  
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).
)
$36,693 - $84,072  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 174
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$17.69 - $33.81  
   
Overtime
$14.81 - $59.23  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $23,323  
   
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).
)
$36,693 - $84,072  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 64
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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.

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Forensic Scientist Tasks

  • Prepare laboratory reports and may testify in court.
  • Collect, store, protect, and analyze physical evidence from crime scenes to aid investigation.

Forensic Scientist Job Listings

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Forensic Scientists usually report a few specific skills. DNA and Forensics are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay.

Pay by Experience Level for Forensic Scientist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Forensic Scientists with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $47K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $55K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Forensic Scientists make a median salary of $68K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $71K.

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Experience Affects Forensic Scientist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 41%

Experienced
up arrow 35%

Mid-Career
up arrow 9%

National Average
$50,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 6%

Skills That Affect Forensic Scientist Salaries

DNA
up arrow 3%

Forensics
up arrow 2%

National Average
$50,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 30 votes.

Gender

Female
60 %
Male
40 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
16%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 7%
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