Becoming a Forensic Chemist

Forensic Chemists are different from Forensic Technicians. They analyze non-living particles and evidences found at crime scenes to identify alien materials and match the samples to establish a proper link. The Forensic Chemists generally work in a lab and conduct tests on samples collected by the crime scene investigators. They don’t visit the spots. They use a variety of techniques such as microscopy, optical analysis, gas chromatography etc in their tests.

The job responsibilities of Forensic Chemists include:

  • Conducting toxicology tests on fluids and tissues of the body to find traces of drugs or poison
  • Testing devices that measure blood alcohol levels
  • Examining the fingerprints collected from the crime scene
  • Communicating with the cops, investigators, lawyers and other authorities
  • Appearing before the courts or law enforcement agencies if needed

Education Requirements:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: The aspiring Forensic Chemists must earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or forensic sciences, which may include coursework in chemistry, physiology, instrumental analysis, toxicology, soil chemistry, material science and biochemistry. They must have a complete understanding of the forensic processing and analysis during the course.
  2. Earn a Master’s Degree: To advance their career further, the aspiring Forensic Chemists may go for higher studies such as a master’s degree. But, this is not mandatory.

Key Challenges:

  • A Forensic Chemist must be flexible to work in odd hours
  • Strong patience is needed to deal with any type of situation
  • Must have strong communication skills and analytical abilities
  • Must have transparency in work and related activities

Salary & Job Outlook: The job outlook for Forensic Chemists remains excellent. The average salary of these professionals stands at $27,683 – $52,471 per year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *