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Forensic Scientist Job Description

Dr. Sumaiya Khan
The job of a forensic scientist entails dealing with crime scenes and collecting crucial evidence that will help in solving a crime. Read on to understand various aspects related to it and its educational requirements.
The word "forensic" comes from the Latin word "forensis", which means public, i.e., making something public after it initially being argumentative. Thus, forensic science is a field, wherein science is applied in public situations as needed.
Any science that is typically used for the purpose of the law comes under this category. A forensic scientist, therefore, is a person who applies and makes use of his scientific knowledge to help out the jury and attorneys in understanding and solving a case, so as to bring any kind of perpetrators to justice.

Educational Requirements

To become a forensic scientist, a person will first need to attain a degree in science. This will include a strong knowledge of basic sciences, i.e., physics, chemistry, and biology.
A Bachelor's degree in one of these disciplines is mandatory. If a person has majored in one of them, it is more preferable. Although there is no hard-and-fast rule regarding required qualifications, any kind of specialization in science is always welcome. Hence, people who have majored in biochemistry, zoology, genetics etc., will always have an upper hand.


  • There are many duties that are a part and parcel of this job. Firstly, a person must be ready to face challenges such as being present at crime scenes and collecting evidence. This is important because it is on the basis of this evidence that, more often than not, a crime is solved.
  • The forensic scientist needs to work closely with the government officials. For this purpose, a person who wished to be a part of this field must be willing to cooperate with these officials and any other sources that they may need to share information with to help solve the case.
  • Other activities include helping to They help in trying to try to reconstruct a crime scene, in order to visualize what might have happened, collecting and closely analyzing DNA samples, reporting any kind of breakthrough investigative findings that might aid the investigating team, etc.
  • He examines materials like firearms and bullets recovered from the crime scene, textual evidence, take fingerprints, etc.
  • He often has to coordinate between the actively investigating team and the team working in the laboratory analyzing the retrieved data. He keeps track of records and logs, in case there is a need for future reference.
  • In some cases, as a part of legal duties, forensic scientists are called upon to testify, as they are a part of an expert panel in witness court trials. They must be comfortable with explaining and justifying in detail any recorded finding. This is important because the final decision of a case could rest upon the evidence presented by them.
One factor that may be worrying those aspiring to work in this field is the salary aspect. However, one needn't worry regarding its range, because, on an average, this amount teeters around USD 52,900 to begin with.
This of course is highly dependent on the skills, education, and experience that a person has. In the end, if you have an analytical mind that is always ticking and trying to think out of the box, with a penchant for solving crimes, then this career is for you.