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What Type of Forensics Career Do You Want

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to pursue a career path in forensics as a sworn police officer or, primarily, as a scientist?

The Police Route

If you are more interested in co-ordinating the overall investigation, interviewing people and following leads these tasks are associated with the role of a police detective not a forensic practitioner. A good source of information on the different roles of police officers and forensic specialists in an investigation is the Victoria Police page: Is Forensic Science really like the television show CSI?

Forensic science positions for sworn police officers are, in the majority, within the crime scene division. There is no prerequisite qualification, such as a science degree. The positions are generally for Senior Constables, which can be achieved after a few years in operational duties. Staff are usually expected to complete a qualification, such as an Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Forensic Investigation - Crime Scene Examination) after commencing. 

The Science Route

To become a forensic scientist it is not always a pre-requisite to have completed a forensic course or any forensic training although, given the competition in the job market, a degree and/or postgraduate award in forensic science is naturally advantageous. Many successful applicants have no specific forensic science training but have a relevant science degree and/or appropriate technical background. Degrees relating to chemistry, biology, life sciences, applied sciences or medical sciences are likely to be the most appropriate, depending on the type of forensic work you want to do. After this, other aspects are considered, such as relevant work experience and personal attributes and skills. 

If you want to specialise in electronic casework (recovering data from computers, mobile phones and other electronic equipment), you may be accepted with experience and qualifications in computing, electrical engineering, electronics or physics.

Educational courses and further career information relating to forensic science as an occupation can be found via The Job Guide website (Australian Government Department of Education and Training).

Sidebar Content

Chemistry

  • Bachelor of Science (in Chemistry)

 

Biology

  • Bachelor of Science (Major in Genetics)

 

Firearm Marks and Impression Examination

  • Diploma of Pubic Safety
  • Degree in Forensic Investigation

Fingerprints

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Diploma in forensic investigation (fingerprints)
  • Degree in forensic investigation

Questioned Documents

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Diploma in forensic investigation (document examination)
  • Degree in forensic investigation

Computer Forensics

  • Bachelor of Computing

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