The idea of working at a crime scene is thrilling to many people. Getting close to the action and looking for clues is exciting and rewarding. You can help to solve a crime and get the right person behind bars. If this does sound like your kind of thing, you should pursue a career as a forensic scientist in the future. Of course, you need to first know a bit about the job. For this position, you attend a crime scene where you collect pieces of evidence and then you examine them at a facility. Whether this is blood, handwriting or DNA analysis, you work on your findings and produce a report.
A forensic scientist often works with the Crown Prosecution Service to help them to build a case. This is not a 9-5 job and the hours vary depending on when you need to go to a crime scene. You should also know that a lot of forensic scientists specialise in a certain area. For instance, you might work in the biology area where you focus on blood and hair or you could go down the chemistry route where you attend arson situations. A lot of people think that it is a pipe dream that they can go on to do this career. After all, it’s very rewarding and the earnings are good. In fact, Payscale reveals the average wage of a forensic scientist is over £26,000. If you follow this guide on how to become a forensic scientist, you can make the dream real.
You need to head down the academic route
To become a forensic scientist, you do need to build your academic portfolio. This is a job where you will struggle to get into the field without a good set of qualifications behind you. For starters, you will need to ensure you complete your GCSEs and get a higher than a C in at least five subjects. You would then need to complete A levels to ensure you get on the path to university. To go down the forensic science route, A levels in science subjects are a must whether it’s a choice of college or an online company such as NCC Home Learning. For instance, you really need to complete chemistry, biology and physics. Once you have good results in these subjects, you can then apply to complete a university degree in forensic science at the university of your choice. To get a role in this field, you then really should complete a post-graduate degree in the subject before then applying for a role in the sector. A lot of people in this role go on to do a master’s or a PhD while they are at work.
You need to build your other skills
While a degree is a must to help you to secure that role as a forensic scientist, you do need to work on your other skills too. After all, there are some vital skills you need to do well in the job. For instance, team working skills will help you in the role so joining some form of club and ensuring you are a team player is a must. Working on your computer skills is essential to help you in the role. You can look at UCAS to see other related skills you need to help you become a forensic scientist.
You need to get some work experience
As with many jobs, it’s very important to gain some work experience before you apply for your first role. You need to ensure you stand out from others who apply for the same job and you need to show you have an understanding of what the role might undertake. Therefore, you should apply to do some work experience at a company where you can shadow the forensic scientist. It’s so important to ask them questions and make the most of your time partaking in the role. Take notes and listen out for jargon you can use when you apply for a role. The perfect time to do work experience would be during your degree in the holidays or after you finish the course. Once you have some work experience behind you, it will help your CV to shine when you do apply for the role. Alongside this and if applicable in your area, it would be super beneficial to get an insight and perhaps do work experience in Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleaning. By doing this you’ll be able to build up experience and really see if this career path is for you.
You need to start applying for entry positions
To become a forensic scientist, you need to start at the beginning in an entry role. There is no point applying for the best paid and hardest roles when you are starting out. Therefore, look on job websites for entry positions at companies in the area or further if you will move. You will find assistant or associate roles when you look at entry positions. It’s worth sending your CV to companies in the field even if they are not currently advertising a position. It will keep you in mind for when they look for a new member of staff. Even if they can’t offer you a job, they might take you on for some work experience. Once you start in an entry role, you can show your skills and will advance as you develop in the field.