Forensic Scientist Job Description

The work of a forensic scientist is exciting, ever-changing, and incredibly unpredictable, but it can make a big difference in determining the outcome of a criminal case. As a forensic scientist, your job will be to analyze evidence collected from a crime scene. A team of criminal investigators will bring fibers, clothing samples, drugs, photos, and other forms of evidence for you to pick art, test, and analyze in a crime lab. There are many other components to a forensic scientist job description though, based on the sector of forensic science that you choose to work in. Review some of the options below to learn what the job duties are for different forensic scientists in the criminal justice system.

Forensic Science Job Description for Biology

Many forensic scientists specialize in biology when the want to work heavily with DNA samples. A biological forensic scientist will extract DNA strands from body fluids and tissue samples to determine if a certain person was present at a crime scene, or if a weapon was used to commit a crime. In some cases, a forensic scientist will compare DNA samples to connect relatives with one another, or he or she may test a DNA sample against a database of other DNA information to identify a suspect in a crime. If you purely have a passion for DNA testing, this is the sector of forensic science for you.

Forensic Science Job Description for Chemistry

Forensic chemists conduct all of the chemical testing for evidence analysis. In most cases, they will examine trace evidence like blood splatters or soil to reconstruct the way a crime occurred. They have special tools that can pinpoint the chemical makeup of evidence samples, and they use that information to detect the presence of chemicals in a crime scene. Their work helps criminal investigators piece together the steps that happened before a crime was committed so they can put together a compelling case against a suspect.

Forensic Science Job Description for Document Examination

Document examination is a very specialized form of forensic science. Most people associate document examiners with signature authentication, where they analyze a signature on a document to determine if it came from a certain individual. These forensic scientists go way beyond that in their work though. A forensic scientist job description for a document examiner may include document dating, forgery detection, handwriting analysis, typewriting examination, and printing analysis. To work in this job, you will need an extensive knowledge of writing and printed documents, including the materials used to create them.

Forensic Science Job Description for Fingerprinting

Every human has a unique set of fingerprints, even identical twins. That is why fingerprint analysis has become such a significant part of forensic science over the years. If a scientist can review a person’s fingerprints and determine that he or she touched a weapon used for a crime, that scientist may be able to prove that person is guilty of a criminal act. Fingerprint analysis is not easy, even though there are computers that help with the process. You will have to be very thorough in your work in order to properly analyze a set of fingerprints that come before you.

Forensic Science Job Description for Toxicology

Toxicologists must look over evidence samples to detect the presence of drugs, alcohol, or poisonous chemicals. These individuals have a similar forensic scientist job description to chemists, but they focus more on the detection of narcotics and hazardous materials. They will usually analyze body fluids during an autopsy, but they may also review physical evidence from a crime. It just depends on the kind of case they are trying to solve at the time. Their evidence is mostly used in murder cases to determine how a victim may have been killed.

Forensic Science Job Description for Weaponry

Weaponry experts are responsible for pinpointing the tools and deadly devices that may have been used in a crime scene. Some of these forensic technicians will look over marks on a door or wall to determine how a criminal may have gotten into a building, and others will review bullet shells left at a crime to figure out what gun might have been used to shoot someone. Forensic scientists in this field have to have a clear understanding of physics as they detect the path of a projectile in the air. If you feel that you have a decent grasp of physics and other sciences related to weaponry, this forensic scientist job description may be perfect for you.