Even if you’re familiar with some of the different careers in forensics, you may not know the specific paths that lead to them, or the options and decision points that present themselves along the way. So, we’ve carved out a section of our blog to provide very detailed, step-by-step, descriptions of how to become everything from a forensic accountant to a forensic psychologist. Like many career paths, forensics career paths can be complex and nuanced, and are rarely “one size fits all”, so we’ve attempted to break down the major decision points, and clarify the essential component skills, experiences, and educational qualifications for each path, along with the personality traits, likes and dislikes that might make one career a better fit than another.
The term 'detective' may summon up images of the fast-moving, sleekly-dressed characters of James "Sonny" Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo "Rico" Thomas (Philip Michael Thomas) from Miami Vice or the equally adept, somewhat charming and insightful Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) from "Murder, She Wrote."
At the intersection of medical and legal matters is where the work of a forensic pathologist begins. Known as “death detectives,” forensic pathologists are specially-trained physicians tasked with determining the cause of unexpected or violent deaths.
A forensic counselor’s decisions can drastically alter the course of someone’s life and that’s one of the reasons why rigorous academic and licensure requirements are in place for this profession.
Forensic science technicians have a regular presence at crime scenes, aiding in the process of criminal investigations under a crime scene leader or field supervisor. The role involves helping to collect, document and analyze evidence and submitting it to the crime laboratory.
Fraud investigation is the research of intentional criminal deception and involves civil and criminal methods of examination. Professional fraud investigators have a variety of job responsibilities in corporate or government-based institutions.
The primary use of forensic entomology is in death investigations as insect activity can reveal when, where, and sometimes how a person died. That said, forensic entomology can also assist in detecting drugs and poisons; determining the location of a crime; finding the presence and time of trauma; and even tying suspect, victim, and crime scene to each other.
Becoming a forensic psychiatrist requires first becoming a medical doctor, and for dedicated and focused individuals, it can be a fascinating career.
Becoming a forensic toxicologist requires a strong background in science and scientific method. Learn more about the requirements to become one, the paths from which one can choose, and the steps along those paths.