A crime scene investigator (CSI) supervises investigation of complex crime scenes, such as the scene of a homicide, armed robbery, home invasion, sexual assault, and burglary. They are also referred to as crime scene technicians and evaluate the crime scene by making use of advanced techniques and equipment.
A crime scene investigator is a police officer with either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice, or forensic science. To increase your chances of becoming a crime scene investigator, you must obtain a master’s degree in crime scene investigation, criminal justice, or forensics. Police officers desiring to become CSIs should obtain advanced training in latent fingerprint processing, crime scene processing, death investigation, blood spatter interpretation, photography, and other relevant courses in arson investigation and forensic pathology. Additionally, they need to obtain a certification within 18 months as a CSI from the International Association for Identification, Crime Scene Certification Board.
The CSI is a new entrant to the police force and has now gained prominence. These professionals have to deal with minute pieces of evidence to help solve crimes.
If you want to become a CSI you need to obtain an undergraduate degree in either criminal justice or science. Police officers often ask to become a CSI after some experience. In such cases, you will be provided with on the job training under a field supervisor. This can last up to a year before you are designated a full-fledged CSI.
In spite of the appearance of glamour, a CSI has to put up with erratic hours and being on call for 24 hours at a stretch. Besides, a CSI encounters death and horrific crime daily and needs to have the ability to overlook the human angle and solve the crime. A CSI must have an eye for detail as every single piece of evidence affects the case.
Crime scenes offer crucial clues to investigators looking for suspects; every iota of evidence is vital in obtaining a lead. At present, law enforcement officials have felt the need for specialists to gather evidence to solve a case. A CSI certificate will help you break into this field.
Certificate programs help you hone skills needed to obtain your first job with a county, local, or state law enforcement agency. These courses focus on specifically improving your skills to enable you to handle a crime scene. As such the course will include information on identifying potential materials for further analysis, establishing custody chains for evidence, and similar subjects.
With a crime scene technician certificate you can apply for a variety of investigative positions. For instance, by learning about evidence detection you could qualify for a crime scene technician job with responsibility for collecting evidence to help prove burglary, rape, homicide, or other charges. Other possible work includes lab work, to analyze fluid samples such as blood for DNA matches, conducting chromatographic analyses to ascertain the origin of items, and so on.
There are an increasing number of job openings in the United States that need a crime scene investigation degree. Rapid advances in this field ensure that employers are on the lookout for well-educated candidates. A degree in crime scene investigation covers forensic science, which involves genetics, chemistry, spectrometry, and other fields in evidence collection.
This growing career field is exciting not only because it helps one to contribute to safety and justice in society, but also because of exposure to the latest knowledge in forensic science.
Those interested in science and math will be able to do well in a crime scene investigation course. Most people opt for either the two-year associate’s degree or the four-year bachelor’s degree with a major in criminal justice and a focus in crime scene investigation. Some people also add a master’s degree in this field.
Individual papers cover subjects such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, upper-level math (such as calculus and statistics), and legal studies with focus on evidence. The course will involve a lot of lab work simulating work done in actual crime labs. Students will be taught the use of centrifuges, microscopes, diagnostic equipment, and other special instruments.
With this degree you qualify for many jobs in law enforcement, homeland security, corrections, and juvenile justice. There are openings for positions such as lab technicians, crime scene technicians, field investigators, DNA analysis, and entomology.
While jobs such as entry-level technicians require only an associate’s degree, many others insist on a bachelor’s degree coupled with specialized training. After you complete the training, a degree in crime scene investigation will qualify you for several jobs in the criminal justice field.