How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator
The job title “Crime Scene Investigator” is one of many that describe people who find, document, and preserve all pieces of evidence at a crime scene; this article will give you an idea of how to become a CSI as well as an overview of the profession.
What Is a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)?
A Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) is tasked with extracting every possible piece of evidence from a crime scene; civilians with a science background may also be qualified for this position. CSIs are indispensable during trials because their professional testimony is so important.
What Does a Crime Scene Investigator Do?
Crime scene investigators are essentially highly trained forensic scientists on call. Most CSIs work a standard forty-hour work week with standard hours, with only minor variations due to specific cases. Data collection is primarily done in the field, and crime scene investigators must exercise extreme caution in all aspects of their work.
Crime Scene Investigator Job Duties
The job of a crime scene investigator is to secure crime scenes and preserve physical evidence, and they must take meticulous measurements of each scene they encounter.
CSI Career & Education Requirements
Crime scene investigators must have specific work experience and educational requirements, including attention to detail, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, computer science, forensic science, or biology.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a Related Field
Earning a bachelor’s of science degree in any of these fields will qualify you to either obtain a job or further your education in this field after graduation. The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Computer Science, or Biology will prepare you with the knowledge you’ll need to sue for a job or further your education in this field after graduation.
Step 2: On-The-Job-Training
Most employers want 6 months to 2 years of experience in the field, so an internship or job in the field will add to your educational background. Real-life work experience will provide you with the intricate know-how employers are looking for.
Step 3: Earn CSI certifications and State licensure
There are a variety of certifications you can earn to advance your career as a crime scene investigator, including bloodstain pattern analysis, latent print, and forensic photography certifications. State-level certification requirements vary depending on the state.
Step 4: Higher education could provide advancement opportunities
Some people enter the field of crime scene investigation directly from the police force, without earning a bachelor’s degree and relying solely on their experience. However, having a bachelor’s degree in this field can help you advance your career or specialize in a specific area down the road.
CSI Job Titles, Salary Information & Career Growth
A CSI who is a member of law enforcement can be promoted through the police ranks in the traditional way, or an experienced CSI could pivot into working for a government agency like the FBI. The median Crime Scene Investigator salary in 2018 was $43,860 per year.
Your GMercyU Path to a Career as a Crime Science Investigator
We offer a variety of programs at Gwynedd Mercy University that will help you get started as a crime scene investigator. Through our three Bachelor of Science Degree programs, you will be highly trained by professors with CSI experience. Learn more about what we have to offer below!
How long does it take to become a crime scene investigator?
A:Becoming a crime scene investigator can take anywhere from two to four years. An associate’s degree takes about two years, a bachelor’s degree takes four years, and a master’s degree takes two years. However, with the help of distance learning programs, students can complete these qualifications at their own pace.
Is it hard to become a crime scene investigator?
Crime scene investigators continue to learn on the job after initial training, and those with skill and experience are highly valued by police. Breaking into the field can be difficult due to the large number of applicants for each opening, especially in desirable locations.
Are crime scene investigators in high demand?
The employment of forensic science technicians is expected to grow 14% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations; however, because it is a small occupation, the rapid growth will only result in about 2,400 new jobs over the 10-year period, implying fierce competition for jobs.
Do you have to be a cop to be a CSI?
In general, if you want to work as a Criminalist in a crime laboratory, you’ll need at least a four-year science degree (such as Biology, Chemistry, or Forensic Science). Some agencies require you to be a sworn police officer before becoming a Crime Scene Investigator, but most don’t.
Do CSI carry guns?
Simply put, criminal investigators carry guns and conduct investigations at crime scenes; forensic specialists, on the other hand, rarely carry weapons unless they are primarily sworn officers or agents with a special skill, such as computer forensics, polygraph examination, or specialized interview techniques.
What are the 7 basic steps in crime scene investigation?
The 7 Steps to Investigating a Crime Scene
- Establish Security. Tape around the perimeter.
- Create a Plan and Communicate. Determine the type of crime that occurred.
- Conduct Primary Survey. Identify potential evidence.
- Document and Process Scene.
- Conduct Secondary Survey.
- Record and Preserve Evidence.
Is being a CSI dangerous?
As a result, CSI careers are less dangerous than those of police officers and detectives. Analysts in the crime lab, as well as those who gather evidence from the scene after a crime, are generally not in these high-risk situations or in close contact with suspects.
Is being a CSI fun?
CSI New York, CSI Miami, the original, and everything else have one thing in common: they all show how cool crime scene investigators are. But being one isn’t all fun and games; in fact, it’s almost never fun and only occasionally games.
What are two main responsibilities of a CSI at a crime scene?
Crime scene investigators are in charge of photographing crime scenes, packaging, labeling, and transporting evidence, documenting autopsies, briefing investigators, writing reports, and testifying in court.
What does a CSI investigator do?
A Crime Scene Investigator ( CSI ) is tasked with extracting all possible evidence from a crime scene; they are most often employed by state or federal law enforcement, but civilians with a science background may also be qualified for this position.
Is it hard to get a job in forensic science?
Because forensic science is such a competitive field, getting a job can be difficult; however, having a higher education and certifications can greatly assist you.
What qualifications do you need to be a CSI?
You’ll typically need at least 5 GCSEs (A*-C) in math, English, and science, as well as an A-level in a laboratory-based science subject, and a degree in one of the following subjects may be beneficial:
- Forensic science, biological science, chemistry, criminology, and psychology are all examples of forensic science.
Can you become a CSI without a degree?
Although some CSI jobs only require a high school diploma, those with an associate’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or police science are given preference. Los Angeles has three large public universities and at least four private universities with undergraduate and graduate science programs.