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Southern Oregon University

  • Police Officer. A Rand Corporation study revealed that 90 percent of all solved crime is solved by the police officer on the street and another nine percent of all solved crime could have been solved by the officer on the street. Police officers solve crimes. If you want to investigate and solve crime, become a police officer. In all drug cases and in an increasing number of other cases police submit evidence to a crime laboratory for analysis or comparison. Position requirements vary but a bachelor�s degree with a major in criminology and criminal justice places one in an advantageous position to begin such a career.
  • Crime Scene Technicians. Today a growing number of police departments are specializing and employing crime scene technicians. The role of the crime scene technician is to process the crime scene, which means locating, identifying, recording, marking, photographing, protecting, preserving, collecting, evaluating, transporting, and analyzing physical evidence. The crime scene technician testifies in court but the crime scene technician is not a police officer. Job requirements vary but a bachelor�s degree with criminal investigation courses places one in an advantageous position for such a career.
  • College Forensic Science, Crime Laboratory. Far more than half of all forensic scientists work in a crime laboratory. Minimum requirements include a bachelor�s degree with a major in one of the physical sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, or geology. Those interested in working with DNA cases should major in biology while those interested in working drug cases should major in chemistry. Forensic scientists work in the laboratory and do not work in the field.

Forensic science careers beyond the traditional forensic science laboratory.

  • Forensic Anthropology. Forensic anthropologists are those experts who generate biological profiles for unidentified human skeletal remains, identify unknown individuals, and evaluate skeletal trauma. They have graduate degrees in physical or forensic anthropology, and may be board certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (http://www.csuchico.edu/anth/ABFA/).
  • Computer Forensics / Digital Evidence. Computer forensics investigators are computer and information scientists who may be involved in the recovery and examination of probative information from digital evidence. This is the newest area of forensics and many aspects are not yet defined. A BS in computer science is considered minimum qualification for entry into the field. (http://ncfs.org/)
  • Forensic Engineering. The forensic work of individuals in this field is most often related to civil cases. Forensic engineers have engineering degrees and are often registered professional engineers.
  • Forensic Entomology. This is Gil Grissom�s specialty on CSI. Forensic entomologists use insect evidence to reconstruct the circumstances surrounding human death. Forensic entomologists in the real world are Ph.D. entomologists who have become board certified in forensic entomology by the American Board of Forensic Entomology (http://research.missouri.edu/entomology/).
  • Forensic Nursing. Forensic nurses perform functions such as serving as sexual assault nurse examiners and case reviewers for medical malpractice attorneys. Forensic nurses are RNs, have BS degrees in nursing, or have graduate degrees.
  • Forensic Odontology. Forensic odontologists are dentists and oral pathologists who most often consult for medical examiner offices. Forensic odontologists identify people from dental structures and analysis/comparisons of bite marks. They have received a D.D.S. or D.M.D. and have been certified in forensic odontology by the American Board of Forensic Odontology (http://www.abfo.org/).
  • Forensic Pathology. Like Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CSI: New York, forensic pathologists are medical doctors who serve as medical board examiners and sometimes as coroners. They determine the cause and manner of death through autopsies and death investigations.
  • Forensic Psychiatry. Forensic psychiatrists are medical doctors who serve as researchers and clinical practitioners in the many areas where psychiatry is applied to legal issues. (http://www.aapl.org/)
  • Forensic Psychology. Forensic psychologists apply psychology to questions relating to the law and the legal system. Forensic psychologists must obtain a graduate degree, be licensed by a state board, and may be board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology (www.abpp.org).
  • Forensic Questioned Documents Examiners. The work of these forensic experts involves scientific and systematic examination and comparison of documents and/or writings using various techniques and equipment. Qualified examiners in this field possess a baccalaureate and have undergone an additional two-year training program. (http://www.asqde.org/)
  • Forensic Toxicology. Forensic toxicologists, like Eric Delco on CSI: Miami, provide services in postmortem cases and human performance cases. The work which encompasses the determination and interpretation of drugs and their metabolites in biological fluids requires significant training in chemistry, biology, physiology, and pharmacology. Ph.D.s are common in this field. (http://www.soft-tox.org/)