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Start a Career in Forensic Science

Forensic science is a field of study which was developed mainly to aid the correct and proper administration of the justice system, especially in the field of criminal justice. Forensic science is defined as the use of scientific means to investigate and analyze crimes. This field also entails knowledge of some legal matters.

The field of forensic science became nascent about three hundred years ago, and has been continually developing and growing since then to become what it is today. With its growth, came the incorporation of many other fields including chemistry, biology, physical science, and law. Many of the subjects are generally taught, but the other skills can be acquired at forensic science colleges.

There are six branches of forensic science and two general branches. The six are; medical examiner, crime laboratory analyst, crime scene investigator, forensic engineer, academic and technical assistants. Generally, those involved in forensic science are either doing lab work, or function as field officers. The best way to decide which aspect of forensic science is the most appealing is to have a closer inspection of each branch.

Medical examiners deal with the examination of bodies. This field requires over seven years of college education and a sharp eye. Most of that college education will entail a medical degree of some sort, but an undergraduate degree in chemistry or biology is a good start. In the absence of forensic science colleges, many universities offer criminal investigation courses as electives.

Medical odontologists perform much in the same way as medical examiners, but the odontologists deal with the examination of teeth. Secondly, medical odontologists are more likely to be already established as dentists with their own practices, who are working in the capacity of a consultant. Another offshoot of the medical examiner is the medical entomologist, who analyzes the impact of insects on the body.

Crime Laboratory analysts focus on testing samples sent to the labs. The work is formulaic and stable. Experts recommend that those seeking such a job receive an undergraduate degree in a natural science. Forensic science degrees are applicable, but it may be better to wait to get this at the graduate level.

Forensic engineers deal with cases involving misconduct and negligence, like traffic accidents. An engineering degree is required; therefore electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and other would have a good shot at this type of employment. Crime scene examiners are transient, and make their offices wherever the crime happens. They deal with bodies, and other materials. Educational requirements for this branch are natural science degrees, some law and law enforcement.

Psychologists, social scientists and statisticians, like medical odontologists, are more likely to act as consultants, rather than be employed full time. A double major in psychology and criminal justice would be perfect for this field. Prospective entrants should also have taken electives in crime scene investigation.

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