Forensic Entomologist

Analyze insects found in victims' bodies for clues to their death.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$36,000 – $93,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Forensic Entomologists do?

Forensic Entomologists use creepy-crawly critters to help solve murders. It may seem impossible, at first, to find any sort of interesting information from a blowfly larva, but when you’re a Forensic Entomologist, you see each bug as a clue that leads you closer to the end of a puzzling case.

It’s not exactly a pretty sight, but when bodies decompose, all manner of insects can find their way inside. The Forensic Entomologist’s part in the crime-fighting process usually comes in at the morgue, so it’s imperative that you have a steel-lined stomach. Sometimes, you have to collect samples of insects and larvae yourself; other times, they’re sent to your lab. Either way, you examine the evidence, record your conclusions, and make sure your results are consistent and correct, as justice depends on it.

The type of bug that you find in a victim tells you more than any witness on the stand. If a species of cockroach that exists only in New York turns up in a body found in Alaska, you can deduce that the murder took place somewhere near the Big Apple. Examining the life cycle stage of the flies found in a body tells you how long the victim has been deceased. Time of death is usually the factor that decides whether an alibi lets a suspect off the hook, or nails them on the scene of the crime.

The drama of television criminal investigations is invigorating and exciting, although the Cops who cuff murders are at the risk of stray bullets and missions gone wrong with every turn. But when you’re a Forensic Entomologist, you can still take part in the thrill of solving mysteries and bringing justice to cases, but while keeping to the safety of a pristine laboratory—give or take a few larvae.


Should I be a Forensic Entomologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Forensic Entomologist

    Most Forensic Entomologists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa59b&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2848%25%29|master%27s+%2852%25%29|doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,52
    Schools close to
         
     




    You May Also Like




    Careers Similar to Forensic Entomologist