Forensic Sculptor

Construct sculptures to show what crime victims look like.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$19,000 – $90,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Forensic Sculptors do?

A Forensic Sculptor has one main job: to create a three-dimensional image of a person. This sculpture can be used to identify a murder victim, or to help track down a criminal on the run from justice.

To work as a Forensic Sculptor, you probably need to open your own business. It’s rare for law enforcement agencies to need the services of Forensic Sculptors every day, and they’re likely to balk at the idea of hiring you and letting you surf the web when you’re not needed. Instead, they will call you when they need your help, and you can surf the web on your own dime.

When you’re working with a deceased person, you may find the assignment slightly gory. You’re given a skull to work with, then you measure the width of the eyes and the placement of the features, and compare those measurements to standard forensic charts. This helps you determine the ethnicity of the person.

You also read reports from police to determine where the crime took place, and what was discovered during the autopsy. You create a model of the head of the murder victim, trying to visualize what that person looked like before the crime took place.

When you’re working with a fugitive, you’re given photographs. You study those photographs and the police reports to determine what the person looked like and what sorts of things they did. You may use computer software to manipulate the photographs and determine what the person would look like now. Then you prepare your model.

Should I be a Forensic Sculptor?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Forensic Artist

    How to become a Forensic Sculptor

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