Learn about this occupation – including typical duties, education required, salary and job outlook information, job boards and more.
Forensic scientists or forensic laboratory analysts use scientific principles and technologies to analyze, identify, compare, classify, and interpret physical evidence submitted by police and related agencies. Technologists in all sections or specialties (biology, toxicology, etc.) conduct tests and examinations and take part in in-house research. (OCCinfo by alis).
Forensic specialists work in police labs across the country, and at some labs independent from police forces, such as The Centre of Forensic Sciences and the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Medecine Legale. Forensic scientists generally do not visit crime scenes (except for firearms examiners, who are often also police officers, and those members of the lab who analyze explosives and synthetic drug labs). They receive the evidence from Identification Officers, then analyze evidence in labs and submit a report giving their opinion of the weight of the evidence. They will often testify in court as expert witnesses. Forensic scientists are civilians, not police officers. (So you want to be a forensic scientist?, Simon Fraser University)
Find detailed information about the occupation, including typical duties and working conditions, in the links below:
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) - Canadian occupational descriptions
- O*NET Online - U.S. resource for occupational information
- OCCinfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information
- So you want to be a Forensic Scientist? - Dr. Gail Anderson, Simon Fraser University
- What is Forensic Science? - Canadian Society of Forensic Science's Student Zone
- Article: Forensic Scientists, beyond CSI - Job Postings magazine
- Interview: Forensic Scientist - from StudyinCanada.com
- Forensic Science Technician Profile - from the Sloan Career Cornerstone Center
- Job Profile: Forensic Scientist - U.K. Prospects
- I Heart My Science Career: Forensic Scientist Interview (U.S.) - ScientificMinds
- Careers in Forensics: Analysis, evidence, and law - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Career Profile: Forensic Identification Assistant - Let’s Talk Science
- All You Ever Wanted to Know about Forensic Science but Didn't Know Who to Ask (pdf) - by Dr. Gail Anderson (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
Forensic specialists have a core scientific background in the field in which they are working - biology, chemistry, etc. Usually they will have a minimum of a four year degree, with honours. (So you want to be a forensic scientist?, Simon Fraser University)
U of M Academic Calendar
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Exploring Other Education Options
- Forensic Science Programs in Canada - Canadian Society of Forensic Science
University Forensic Programs in Canada - from Forensics.ca
- Search Directories
Labour market information
Labour market information informs users of supply and demand for specific occupations and sectors. It includes such things as salary and job outlook information. These resources support informed career decision making and job search efforts.
- Trend Analysis: Job Market Report (Winnipeg Region) - Gov. of Canada Job Bank
- Occupational Outlook Handbook> - Job outlook for the U.S.
Professional associations organize events and directories, job postings, career and labour market information. Student membership opportunities are also available. This is a great way to learn and network.
- Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS)
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences (U.S.)
- Association of Firearm & Tool Mark Examiners (U.S.)
- American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors
Directories, Industry Associations, and Sector Councils
These resources provide industry news, labour market information and a list of potential employers. Remember, there are usually multiple industries worth exploring.
- Government Forensic Labs in Canada - CSFS
- Links of Forensic Interest - CSFS list that includes private labs
- Labs & Experts - Forensics.ca
- Biociences Association of Manitoba
- BioTalent Canada
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