Forensic Investigator

Gather and analyze criminal evidence to help solve crimes.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$33,000 – $83,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Forensic Investigators do?

Let’s just say it, because we’re all thinking it: This is the real-life version of “CSI.” As a Forensic Investigator, you are responsible for studying a crime scene, gathering all evidence, and analyzing that evidence back at your crime lab. And just like the principal characters on “CSI,” you too get to work with high-tech equipment, as well as intelligent Forensic Technicians and Scientists, to crack the case.

But it’s not all fun and games. The cases that Forensic Investigators work on can be extremely serious crimes, so it’s important that you really love what you’re doing. The passion and drive to find the truth are necessary to offset the overwhelming feelings you may sometimes encounter on the job.

It’s also not uncommon for Forensic Investigators to specialize in a certain area that they’re particularly interested in. So if you want to spend a little more time with ballistics, by all means, go for it.

Your job will take you from the crime scene to the laboratory and, finally, to the courtroom, where all of your hard work is literally laid out for all to see. If and when you are called upon to testify, your forensic expertise, communication skills, and flawless documenting will all serve you well. A sharp eye is your greatest skill, however, because what you offer is much more than just years of training. It’s an innate ability to find the tiniest details, and the desire to see justice served.

Should I be a Forensic Investigator?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • 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.

  • Also known as: Detective-Crime Scene Investigations

    How to become a Forensic Investigator

    Most Forensic Investigators 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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