Fingerprint Technician

Evaluate fingerprint evidence both at the crime scene and in the lab.
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Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$33,000 – $83,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Fingerprint Technicians do?

The job of a Fingerprint Technician is a perfect combination of lab work and crime investigation. As a Fingerprint Technician, you work with fingerprints both in the lab and on the crime scene. Like a character right out of CSI, you wear your lab coat and gloves, and lift fingerprints at the scene or examine them under a microscope.

Sometimes, items are delivered to you. So when you receive a sealed bag with a drinking glass inside, you know exactly what your day holds. Because Fingerprint Technicians are trained on investigation and evidence handling, you know how to remove the glass from the bag without polluting it with your own set of prints. Then you locate each fingerprint on the glass, and carefully preserve it for the record books.

Other times, you travel to the crime scene and, with an expert eye, look for fingerprints on weapons, furniture, doors, counters, faucets, window frames, or objects in the area. Using a fine powder and a light, you dust for, locate, and quarantine individual prints.

Once you’ve analyzed the unique characteristics of the print (called a map), you create diagrams, reports, and other materials that can be used as evidence in a trial. You are commonly called to testify about your knowledge in the case.

You most likely work for the FBI or a police department, but you may also work at the border, fingerprinting those entering or leaving the country. Either way, you rely on computer databases for both recording and retrieving fingerprint information.


Should I be a Fingerprint Technician?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Fingerprint Expert, Latent Print Analyst

    How to become a Fingerprint Technician

    Most Fingerprint Technicians have a Master's degree or a Bachelor's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:fzp9na&chl=no+college+%284%25%29|certificate+%2817%25%29|associate%27s+%2828%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2842%25%29|master%27s+%289%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,4,42
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