13 Reasons To Become A Forensic Scientist

Ever wondered what a job as a forensic scientist will be like?

With more and more police and detective-related programmes being shown on our screens, many of us are seeking a new and exciting career choice! If the idea of investigating crime scenes and helping to catch criminals appeals to you, (and of course you aren’t freaked out by blood) then this might be a career for you.

Analyse the science behind the crime scene and aid police with their investigation work, in an exciting job role.

What is a Forensic Scientist?

We’ve all seen CSI or any other police detective programme – it’s hard to avoid them! Forensic scientists analyse crime scenes, find and collect scientific evidence, and often present this in legal courts. They apply scientific knowledge of crime scenes to help support a legal case. Sound exciting?

Exciting Job

Although the idea of a crime scene to some people might be a little gruesome, to others it’s exciting! Collecting forensic evidence such as fingerprints, hair, clothing, and even blood from crime scenes is something you will do quite regularly. What’s not exciting about that? You’ll use science to uncover the truth behind crimes and crime scenes!

Problem-solving skills

If you’re a good problem solver and enjoy a good puzzle, this job certainly is the job role for you. As a forensic scientist, the job role involves collecting scientific evidence and piecing them together.  You will then present these as evidence for a case - collecting pieces of the crime puzzle before helping piece them together to form the full picture of what happened.

Protect the public

A forensic scientist increases public safety by contributing to the capture of dangerous criminals. They help to achieve justice for victims and their families by using a range of techniques: DNA analysis, psychological theories, and profiling approaches. With new developments, it is now possible for forensic scientists to solve crimes that have remained unsolved for years. You might say they were the local heroes of the criminology world…

Lab work

For those passionate about science, this is a dream job if you have always pictured yourself in a lab coat, testing things in a lab! As a forensic scientist, you will of course collect evidence from the crime science. You will then spend a lot of time in the lab analysing samples (the evidence). This could be anything from hair, skin cells, drugs, or any substances found on the scene.

Career opportunities

There are many exciting career opportunities within forensic science!
The main areas to work in are:

  • Forensic chemistry - investigating substances in a crime scene
  • Forensic biology - testing for DNA and other fibres
  • Drugs and toxicology - testing for drugs in both humans and at a crime scene

You can specialise in a range of different areas or get involved in them all.
You can choose to become a fingerprint officer, a criminal intelligence analyst, or even a toxicologist. The career benefits are even better. As well as being recognised for your work in documented journals or at industry conferences, work your way up the ladder!


As it is a highly skilled job, earning potential is fantastic! Those starting their career in forensic science could normally start with a salary of £20,000! When you work your way up the forensic science career ladder, your salary could rise to £35,000 and those in more senior roles could get £45,000 or more! Although it is a job that involves a lot of dedication and is often fairly time-consuming (when attending a crime scene to collect evidence), the salary potential is excellent.

No two days are the same

Every investigation and crime scene is different so your tasks will differ day to day. You could be visiting a crime scene and taking photographs one day, while the next you could be in the lab exploring links between suspects and criminal activity.  You will also have to reconstruct crime scenes based on your scientific findings. So, you can ensure that you’ll never have a dull day.

Different work environments

Following from the fact that no two days are the same, your work environment will be a different place from day to day! One day you might be working on a crime scene collecting scientific evidence. The next day you may spend it in the lab, testing the evidence you've found. A few days on from this you may be in court, presenting evidence on the case to the jury!
This is a far cry from an office job, where you are sat in the same spot day to day! An exciting career path!

Passion for science

If you are someone that holds a particular passion for science, then forensic science is the career for you. You will need a strong interest in science because you'll be devoting your career to scientific techniques. You'll have access to some of the most advanced scientific equipment and methods available to help uncover the truth! That in itself is exciting.

Unbiased job

In a world of jobs where you will be naturally biased towards the company you work for - you are completely unbiased in this job! You have to present scientific evidence that is completely unbiased, using only science to establish the facts. If there is DNA evidence of a suspect on a particular crime scene, your job is to present this as a fact and not opinion!

And well... it's just awesome!

The job in itself is just awesome! You have a job that uses science to discover the truth behind crimes - how cool is that?

Open Study College offer a range of criminology courses, from Private Investigation to Criminal Psychology, take a look at the full range, here.

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Sharnie Carter

Passionate about marketing and education. Currently studying a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing via distance learning. When I'm not working or studying, I'm spending time with my young son and husband or hinching!

13 Reasons To Become A Forensic Scientist