Forensic Scientist Salary

Average Forensic Scientists in the United States make around $51K annually. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and more than half earn dental coverage. Though the majority of Forensic Scientists do not report high levels of job satisfaction, most are moderately content with their role. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$35,301 - $83,633
$35K
$51K
$84K
MEDIAN: $51,280
10%
50%
90%

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$14.42 - $36.73
$14
$24
$37
MEDIAN: $23.54
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$35,301 - $83,633  
   
Bonus
$705 - $9,933  
Profit Sharing
$7,750  
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).
)
$34,435 - $85,245  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 170
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$14.42 - $36.73  
   
Overtime
$10.18 - $60.53  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$705 - $9,933  
   
Profit Sharing
$7,750  
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).
)
$34,435 - $85,245  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 54

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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

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

Forensic Scientist Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Forensic Scientist

Pay by Experience for a Forensic Scientist has a positive trend. An entry-level Forensic Scientist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $48,000 based on 147 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Forensic Scientist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $60,000 based on 61 salaries. An experienced Forensic Scientist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $64,000 based on 34 salaries. A Forensic Scientist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $69,000 based on 16 salaries.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Forensic Scientist

Gender

Female
60 %
Male
40 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 17 votes.
Less than 1 year
18%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
7%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Forensic Scientist Salaries

Late-Career
▲35%

Experienced
▲25%

Mid-Career
▲17%

National Average
$51,000

Entry-Level
▼6%

Skills That Affect Forensic Scientist Salaries

Molecular Biology
▼0%

National Average
$51,000

DNA
▼8%

Forensics
▼10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 17 votes.

Gender

Female
60 %
Male
40 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
18%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 85%
dental benefits
Dental: 68%
vision benefits
Vision: 57%
no benefits
None: 14%
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