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.
Those who are considering how to become a forensic nurse will want to know more about the job before committing. This field of nursing is relatively new, and it is the point at which nursing and medical care and the criminal justice system connect.
What do forensic psychologists do? Responsibilities may vary, but most psychologists in the field help police determine the motives for certain crimes, narrow down a suspect pool, and generally provide deeper insight into the criminal mind in order to assist investigators.
Fire investigators, also known as arson investigators, perform an invaluable service to society: they determine the causes of fires, and when necessary, whether a criminal act of arson was involved. These professionals employ both the skills of a scientist and those of a detective in their investigations.
For people seeking careers that are simultaneously challenging, meaningful, and exciting, it is tough to beat becoming a crime scene technician. These professionals, also known as forensic science technicians or crime scene analysts, have inspired a number of popular television programs such as CSI and Dexter.
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.
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.
Forensic toxicologists work in laboratories, often those operated by government agencies or law enforcement, to identify chemicals and compounds that could have contributed to crimes or have other administrative or legal consequences. This can include identifying illicit substances in bodies that may have been the victims of foul play, performing administrative drug testing, or identifying hazardous chemicals in the environment.
For those with the intelligence and focus to complete the steps to become a medical doctor and then complete residencies and fellowships that lead to the forensic psychiatrist specialty, this is a fascinating career. Keep reading to learn how one can become a forensic psychiatrist.