The field associated with forensic science can be probably a lot more complicated than most people appreciate, which is why people frequently ask what does a forensic scientist do? Forensic scientists look at each and every little bit of evidence obtained from a scene to be able to help law enforcement organizations to solve crimes. This can sometimes help exonerate a suspect who may have previously been charged with the crime as well as catching the true perpetrator. However, there are many different branches to this multi-faceted science, and choosing which careers in forensics is for you could be difficult.
Forensics is not just restricted to violent crimes. It is also used to investigate (for instance) theft, extortion, menace, fraud along with a whole host of other areas investigated by way of the police. A forensic scientist makes use of their extensive knowledge to search for the truth, irrespective of whether it agrees with the evidence.
Forensic scientists may interact to carry out a number of laboratory work. They must be able to communicate well verbally as expert witnesses in court and then produce clear written reports.
Another area of forensics involves experience in biological and material sciences. These forensic chemists and toxicologists will look at biological evidence to find drugs, poisons, alcohol and other substances in the body. This may be because of a death or perhaps to determine whether a sports player or public vehicle driver may be taking drugs. Chemists will look at blood spatter patterns as well as for evidence of foreign agents on materials.
The medical examiner or coroner will not be a branch of forensics for people with a delicate constitution. Their function is to pronounce death, sometimes at the scene of an accident or even in the home. Their next job is to perform an autopsy on bodies to identify the cause and time of death. Evidence will be gathered if needed, secured and sent for analysis to forensic scientists focusing on other areas. This might also include bullets for ballistics experts to analyze.
The above will be the closest to what you will see on tv programs. However, there are several more fields to specialize in, including engineering, accounting, computers and nursing for example. The training for all of these may start in different ways, but all will gain from either some form of work experience or a thorough grounding in the history and background of forensics itself.
A degree in forensics is one place to start, or, chemistry and toxicology are other good options before taking a forensic degree. A dual degree involving a relevant science and law is also useful. Your path may be different if your interest is in being a medical examiner. Here you may need a degree in a health science for medical school to become a medical doctor, which is obviously a lengthy path to take. When you have done this, you will need to enrol in a forensic residency program to be certified to work. The whole process taking around 10-12 years.
Careers in forensics are varied and the training extensive and time intensive, so you must be passionate about what you’re trying to achieve. Do your research thoroughly and do not just jump into one field before you investigate other areas of forensic science, since you may make your path much longer and more difficult. What does a forensic scientist do is complex, for this reason, it is important to think things through carefully before you set about a career in forensics.