Forensic Engineer

Study products that have caused damage to a person or property.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$33,000 – $83,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Forensic Engineers do?

Whether you get your news from TV or from your MSN homepage, you will frequently see that one product or another is being recalled. Unfortunately, many unsafe products still end up on store shelves despite rounds of safety testing. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the safety features are not questioned until someone gets hurt.

Forensic Engineers are charged with getting to the bottom of the problem. When you’re a Forensic Engineer, your focus is on products that, due to faulty engineering, design, or materials, have caused physical damage to a person or property. If an electric scooter throws a rider while going downhill, you test and retest until you find that the scooter creates a balance issue when moving downhill at an angle greater than 38 degrees (for example).

As a Forensic Engineer, you’re part Scientist, part Investigator. When you’re not working on faulty products, you use your expertise to answer questions, such as how an automobile accident occurred. For this task, you would consider speed, angle and curvature of the road, breaking distance, location of other cars and objects, and witness testimony.

Regardless of the situation, your goal is to find the cause, whether it be a light bulb that started a fire, an engine that died, or a piece of industrial equipment that malfunctioned. The information you gather helps build criminal cases, remove unsafe products from the market, and answer questions.

Should I be a Forensic Engineer?

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.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Fire Engine Operator, Forensic Analyst

    How to become a Forensic Engineer

    Most Forensic Engineers 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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