What is a Crime Scene Investigator?

A Crime Scene Investigator plays an important role in determining the culprit at crime scenes where crime victims may have been injured or threatened. Those who work as Crime Scene Investigators are typically trained in subjects such as science, criminal justice, and logic so that they can track down criminals and improve public safety. Most Crime Scene Investigators spend many of their working hours out in the field visiting crime scenes and gathering evidence. However, there is also lab work and office work involved with being a Crime Scene Investigator.

Educational Background of a Crime Scene Investigator

An individual aspiring to work as a Crime Scene Investigator should plan on spending at least two years in school, and those who want to be extra competitive in the job market should consider continuing their education up to the master’s degree level. In today’s job market, familiarity with the scientific aspects of forensics are being sought increasingly when Crime Scene Investigator positions are filled. Although Crime Scene Investigators have traditionally been police officers or individuals trained in law enforcement, they are more likely to have extensive training in the sciences than in criminal justice nowadays.

Topics that must be studied by those pursuing a career in crime scene investigation include criminalistics, psychology, fingerprints classification, biological evidence, and more. Familiarity with lab work is important for Crime Scene Investigators. However, crime scene investigators may work with technicians such as forensic chemists, toxicologists, and biologists who handle some of the more scientific aspects of the work.

Job Functions and Working Conditions

Tasks that Crime Scene Investigators will need to perform regularly include interviewing crime scene witnesses and writing reports explaining any known evidence related to a crime scene, according to Forensic Enterprises. When Crime Scene Investigators head out to the scene of a crime, they must secure the area and ensure that any evidence that is available is not disturbed or rendered useless by tampering with the scene after the crime. Crime Scene Investigators must photograph crime scenes and diagram the scene in attempts to explained what happened. They also sometimes need to watch over autopsies and testify in court on what they have discovered in their investigations.

Being a Crime Scene Investigator can at times be a rigorous, demanding job. These professionals are often on call, and they may have to work long hours when crimes occur. They may have to wear protective equipment when visiting the scene of a crime, and it’s important that crime scene investigators not be squeamish so that they can handle the occasionally gory or bloody scenes that they will come across in their work. Working as a Crime Scene Investigator can be stressful and lead to a lot of pressure. However, it is also a rewarding and action packed career that is intellectually stimulating.

Related Resource: Criminology

Those who go into Crime Scene Investigation enjoy working in an industry with an excellent job outlook. A young student considering becoming a Crime Scene Investigator should focus on the sciences and develop a thorough understanding of logic, criminal justice, and law enforcement.