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Forensic Science Technicians

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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.

    Work Activities
    • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
    • Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
    • Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
    • Interpret laboratory findings or test results to identify and classify substances, materials, or other evidence collected at crime scenes.
    • Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
    • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
    • Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.
    • Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
    • Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
    • Review forensic analysts' reports for technical merit.
    • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
    • Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.
    • Examine physical evidence, such as hair, fiber, wood, or soil residues to obtain information about its source and composition.
    • Examine firearms to determine mechanical condition and legal status, performing restoration work on damaged firearms to obtain information, such as serial numbers.
    • Compare objects, such as tools, with impression marks to determine whether a specific object is responsible for a specific mark.
    • Analyze gunshot residue and bullet paths to determine how shootings occurred.
    • Identify and quantify drugs or poisons found in biological fluids or tissues, in foods, or at crime scenes.
    • Determine types of bullets and specific weapons used in shootings.
    • Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
    • Prepare solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
    • Train new technicians or other personnel on forensic science techniques.
    Skills
    • Active Listening

      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.

    • Critical Thinking

      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

    WorkKeys®
    Applied Math
    5
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    4
    Abilities
    • 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.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

    • Deductive Reasoning

      The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

    Knowledge
    • Law and Government

      Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

    • 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.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    Career Video
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    Pay
    • Ohio Annual Salary $66,630/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $32.03/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 380
    • Yearly Projected Openings 50
    Typical Education
    Personality
    Investigative: People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Integrity
    • Self Control
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Adaptability/Flexibility
    Tools
    • Ultraviolet UV lamps
    • Tape measures
    • Specimen collection container
    • Footprint lifters
    • Biological evidence collection kits
    Technology
    • Office suite software
    • Graphics or photo imaging software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Analytical or scientific software
    Tags
    • InDemand occupations are considered a priority by the state of Ohio.
    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.