How Much Does a Forensic Photographer Make?

If you love watching crime scene analysis on television or in the movies, and always look at the Forensic Photographer with envy and intrigue, this may be the perfect profession for you. As a Crime Scene Photographer, you’re responsible for capturing the details of crime scenes, preserving even the smallest pieces of information for Investigators. Working as a Forensic Photographer is just one option out of many different crime scene investigation career choices.

You photograph blood spatters, items found around the victim, footprints, the victim from all angles, and other aspects of the crime scene, which calls for a strong stomach. The hours are erratic, the subject matter is less than joyous, but you find satisfaction in knowing that the work you do helps put criminals behind bars and make our streets a little bit safer.

What is the average income of a Forensic Photographer?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Scientific Photographers, such as Evidence Photographers and Crime Scene Photographers, earned an average annual salary of $29,440 as of May 2008. The lowest-paid Forensic Photographers earn less than $16,920 while the highest-paid Photographers earn more than $62,430 annually. The middle of the pack represents the 50 percent of Photographers who earn between $20,620 and $43,530 per year.

Most Forensic Photographers don’t work full-time for law enforcement, and instead subsidize their income with other types of photography work. This is especially true in small towns or rural areas, where there aren’t many crime scenes requiring photos. The knowledge and experience gained in these smaller settings, however, often leads to higher-paying positions in different locations.

What are the job prospects like for Forensic Photographers?

The scientific photography field is expected to grow about as fast as average when compared to all other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, employment of Criminal Photographers is expected to grow by 12 percent through 2018. The field is attractive to many people, making it very competitive in general.

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