Forensic scientist | Selby College
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Forensic scientist

Forensic scientists prepare traces of physical evidence for use in courts of law.

Potential salary

£20,000 to £45,000

Employment by 2024


Working hours

37 to 40 a week

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

In this role you could be:

  • blood grouping and DNA profiling
  • analysing fluid and tissue samples for traces of drugs and poisons
  • examining splash patterns and the distribution of particles
  • analysing handwriting, signatures, ink and paper
  • providing expert advice on explosives, firearms and ballistics
  • researching and developing new technologies
  • recovering data from computers, mobile phones and other electronic equipment
  • attending crime scenes, like a murder or fire
  • giving impartial, scientific evidence in court

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work on the streets, in a laboratory or in a court.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and emotionally demanding.

With experience, you could move into management and direct other forensics staff as a forensics manager or casework examiner.

You could also work as a reporting scientist, acting as an expert witness in court.

You can find out more on careers in forensics from The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

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