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Also known as:
Ballistic Technician, Ballistician, Ballistics Expert, Crime Lab Technician, Crime Scene Technician, Criminalist Technician, Fingerprint Expert, Forensic Analyst, Forensic Science Technician, Handwriting Expert
Books and TV programs make the work of forensic science technicians seem fast-paced and exciting. In real life, however, their job is more likely to be as slow and painstaking as it is important. Forensic science technicians work at the scene of a crime - and in laboratories. They perform tests on w ...
eapons or they examine substances such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine a connection to the crime, and to a suspect.
Some forensic science technicians specialize in particular areas such as fingerprinting, DNA and handwriting analysis, biochemistry, or ballistics. They prepare reports to document their findings and the laboratory techniques used.
While much of their expertise and deductive abilities come from experience, forensic science technicians are usually college graduates, having taken courses in subjects ranging from criminology to biology. Forensic science technicians are a crucial part of our legal system. They might be called upon to testify as expert witnesses. Their evidence and testimony can help send the guilty to prison, or clear the innocent.
Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Train new technicians or other personnel on forensic science techniques.
Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.
Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.
Prepare solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
Take photographs of evidence.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Flexibility of Closure
The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.