Forensic Scientist will work with the police to help solve crimes, they may be asked to give impartial scientific evidence in a court of law. They will collect samples such as body fluids, hair, fibres, or fragments from a crime scene and take them for analysis which may help in identifying a suspect or victim or provide other valuable information to help solve the crime.
You can get into this job through:
You may be able to start by doing a laboratory scientist higher or degree apprenticeship.
It will help if you do your apprenticeship with a company that provides forensic science services, or with a police force that has its own in-house lab facilities.
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
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You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:
- forensic science
- a related subject like chemistry, biological science, physics or medical sciences
It may help to choose a university qualification accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.
You'll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including chemistry
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
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You can apply directly to forensic services providers if you've got a lot of lab experience, and qualifications in science, especially chemistry.
If you want to specialise in recovering data from computers and mobile phones, you'll need relevant experience and qualifications. Useful subjects include computing, electrical engineering, electronics or physics.
The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) has more information about careers in forensic science.
Career Path and Progression
With experience, you could move into management and direct other forensics staff as a forensics manager or casework examiner.
You could also work as a reporting scientist, acting as an expert witness in court.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Police Officer
- Forensic computer analyst
- An excellent analytical and enquiring mind
- Attention to detail
- A logical and methodical approach
- Excellent communication skills
- The ability to work as part of a team which could consist of scientists and police
- The ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
£20,000 to £60,000