Forensic Science Jobs Overview
A forensic scientist applies their knowledge of science to the evidence used in criminal cases, either by collecting physical evidence from a crime scene, analysing it in the laboratory, or both. The work involved is extremely varied and crosses a wide range of disciplines across the fields of chemistry, biology, maths, and more. A successful forensic scientist needs to have an excellent eye for detail, the ability to work with impeccable accuracy, an inquiring turn of mind, and be able to work to strict deadlines, often under pressure. The nature of the work means that the evidence to be processed may provide emotional as well as professional challenges.
Forensic Science Jobs Education Requirements
Most employers will look for a degree in forensic science, although forensic lab technicians jobs are available as a possible starting point. A degree in another branch of science can also provide a route into the job, and a background in related science jobs can help provide relevant experience. Once working as a forensic scientist, ongoing training will be required to keep abreast of developments within the field, and opportunities exist to develop a speciality within a field.
Forensic Science Jobs Market
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that there is a 41% gap in skills within this sector, and so positions are available for those with good qualifications and experience, although competition for individual posts is often intense. Vacancies can be found within police forces, various government departments and agencies, or within commercial companies who supply forensic science services on a contract basis.
Forensic Science Jobs Salary Information
A newly qualified forensic scientist can expect to earn from £20,000 per year, but this can rise over time to £35,000 or more with experience. Senior forensic scientists with more responsibility, supervisory roles, or specialisations can earn £45,000 or more.