Aspiring forensic scientist at home? Here’s a great option that is open enrollment for any teen. No high school transcript required, no placement testing, and no calendar. All fully self-paced courses you can plug into your teen’s fall schedule. These courses are approved by the International Association for Identification (IAI) and International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) and accredited by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) and are open to teens in all 50 states.
The Texas Forensic Science Academy is offering self-paced online courses for high school students that lead to a recognized credential in preparation for their career in forensics.
The Forensic and Investigative Sciences program is designed for high school students and will give graduates a recognized credential that can translate into greater recognition in a future career in forensics. After completing the required courses offered through the Texas Forensic Science Academy graduates will have an intermediate understanding of forensics topics.
The Forensic and Investigative Sciences Level I is designed for high school students and will give graduates a recognized credential that can translate into greater recognition in a future career in forensics. Recommendation: 1/2 high school credit
The Forensic and Investigative Sciences Level II After completing the required courses offered through the Texas Forensic Science Academy graduates will have an intermediate understanding of forensics topics. Recommendation: 1 high school credit
BONUS: Career in Forensics
If you’re considering signing your teen up for the courses above, it’s a good idea to include a little “career exploration” in the process. You can do this informally or work it into their homeschool, but this research will help your teen decide if this is a career they’re interested in pursuing.
The best resource for any occupational information is The Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. It’s online and free to access, and it gives you the real nuts and bolts about any career. It’s my “go-to” trusted resource for learning what a career is really about, what it really pays, and what type of education you really need to get into the field.
|Quick Facts: Forensic Science Technicians|
|2020 Median Pay||$60,590 per year|
$29.13 per hour
|Typical Entry-Level Education||Bachelor’s degree|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|On-the-job Training||Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|Number of Jobs, 2019||17,200|
|Job Outlook, 2019-29||14% (Much faster than average)|
|Employment Change, 2019-29||2,400|
How to Become a Forensic Science Technician
Forensic science technicians usually have a background in natural sciences.
Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a natural science, such as chemistry or biology, or in forensic science. On-the-job training is usually required both for those who investigate crime scenes and for those who work in labs.
Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a natural science, such as chemistry or biology, or in forensic science. Forensic science programs may specialize in a specific area of study, such as toxicology, pathology, or DNA. Students who enroll in general natural science programs should make an effort to take classes related to forensic science. A list of schools that offer degrees in forensic science is available from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Many of those who seek to become forensic science technicians will have an undergraduate degree in the natural sciences and a master’s degree in forensic science.
Many crime scene investigators who work for police departments are sworn police officers and have met educational requirements necessary for admittance into a police academy. Applicants for civilian crime scene investigator jobs should have a bachelor’s degree in either forensic science, with a strong basic science background, or the natural sciences. For more information on police officers, see the profile on police and detectives.
Communication skills. Forensic science technicians write reports and testify in court. They often work with other law enforcement officials and specialists.
Critical-thinking skills. Forensic science technicians use their best judgment when matching physical evidence, such as fingerprints and DNA, to suspects.
Detail oriented. Forensic science technicians must be able to notice small changes in mundane objects to be good at collecting and analyzing evidence.
Math and science skills. Forensic science technicians need a solid understanding of statistics and natural sciences to be able to analyze evidence.
Problem-solving skills. Forensic science technicians use scientific tests and methods to help law enforcement officials solve crimes.