Are you a forensic scientist?

Hi guys,

I am new here and basically I am after some information on being a forensic scientist. I am going through a career change phase and I’m doing a lot of research of certain jobs…

If any of you is or knows a forensic scientist, please can you respond to this thread as I am keen to talk to one. I would like to know what it’s really like to work as a forensic scientist, what you have to do to become one, what the good and bad points about the job are.

Please help if you can.



i not a forensic scientist but if you want to know what they do watch CSI on…erm…channel 4 i think at 9:00 on some nights.
oh i may not be one but i can give you a bad point…all the gore and blood!

tis a coincidence that you mention wanting to become a forensic scientist. thats the first job i started looking into when i left school. i kinda wish i had kept on doing science now as it is a hell of a lot more interesting than what i do every day (I.T) :o . the only problem with what you see on tv is that you dont know what is real and what is ‘overdone’.

I would think most forensic science work is fingerprinting crime scenes, I wouldn’t have thought there was as many dead bods worthy of investigation as there is on the telly :wink:


Take a trip to New York or Los Angeles. Plenty of cadavers to go around. :frowning:

Entry level qualifications:

Support Grades (eg. lab attendants)
Though no formal qualifications are required, emphasis is normally placed on relevant skills and work experience. However, on occasion as dictated by the role or requests from managers, qualification requirement would be stated in the advert.

Assistant Forensic Scientist
Four GCSE passes (grades A-C), including either a science (preferably biology or chemistry) or mathematics as well as an ‘A’ level in a scientific subject (preferably biology or chemistry).

Trainee Forensic Scientist
A scientific degree, preferably biology or chemistry based with at least a 2.2 pass. Previous laboratory experience would also be beneficial.

Forensic Science Service staff who currently work at assistant forensic scientist level will require a scientific related degree in order to become a forensic scientist. Preferably this degree will be in a biology or chemistry related subject.

taken from here

cd_player, no disrespect but I am after a “real” view of what it’s like on a day-to-day basis, the many TV series dealing with forensic science reinforce the criminal aspect of the discipline, like collecting evidence at homicide scenes and dealing with gory details, but that’s telly. In reality very few forensic scientists spend their time on crime scenes (from what the various career profiles and job descriptions say on the Net) and there are so many different specialities in forensic science that you may not deal with blood or victims at all (example: a forensic scientist whose speciality is chemistry will be working on arsons and burglaries mainly etc…). Sorry but I don’t think that watching TV is going to give me a real idea of what it’s like… I want to know everything (the bad and good bits)… but thank you anyway :-s

However, one TV show is actually fairly realistic, it’s called Forensic Detectives on one the Discovery Channels and that is brilliant, you do get to see what forensic scientists get up to, but it only deals with murder cases, which again, some forensic scientists are not involved in at all, so that’s kind of a narrow view.

scott_uk_7, I know exactly what you mean, I work in IT too but I have definitely got bored of it. I mean I am not bored with IT and computers themselves, but the type of business and industry that IT gets you involved in nowadays; it’s all about clients, deadlines, targets, office politics, I just hate it. I am re-thinking my career at the moment, and I have always been very interested in science in general, I love to learn it on the side, sometimes I get deep into reading scientific articles for which the most part does not make a lot of sense but it still interests me and I want to know more… I wish I had continued with science in school also… and I agree, what you see on TV is glorified and does not represent reality.

I am not interested in forensic science so that I can deal with dead bodies (how odd would that be :-s), but the whole “detailed analysis, careful with everything, figuring things out using science” idea interests me. If dealing with corpses is part of the job, then so be it!

Alta_Rica, thanks for all that info but I have already been on the FSS website and saw all that information, what I am looking for is someone with experience in the profession either because they are a forensic scientist or because they worked closely with one/several… Basically I am after a real-life account… can someone tell me what it’s actually like to work as a forensic scientist? I want to be able to ask questions etc… Only people who work in a particular job can tell you what it’s REALLY like… Don’t you agree?

yeah ok it was just an idea:)

No worries :slight_smile: :flip: :smiley:

Don’t forget Detroit, Chicago, Phily, Dallas, Miama, Atlanta, Washington,DC, Newark, St Louis, …

How about forensic IT. I think that is an up and comer with the fraud that abounds.

As it looks like no-one on here is/was a practising forensic scientist may I suggest you contact your local Police force and tell them that you are interested in this line of work and could they possibly put you in touch with one or more of their scientists

I suspect that if you express yourself clearly and intelligently there would almost certainly be someone willing to talk to you.

(you have almost certainly thought of, or tried, that so forgive me for teaching you to suck eggs).

I would guess that it takes someone of a certain ‘bent’ to do the job (odd sense of humour, strong stomach, incredibly methodical, very good at science, patient as a Saint, able to think ‘out of the box’ and be able to express themself both clearly and succinctly both verbally and in writing).

Hi MAOJC, yes computer forensics is aqn interesting field, I am looking into that as well… :wink:

Alta Rica, actually that is an excellent idea I never thought about… good thinking!
Cool, thank you very much :flip:


don’t have any:)

I worked as a Fingerprint Officer with Derbyshire Constabulary for two years - I only recently gave it up to become a full time fire fighter.

Have worked with SOC (scene of crime) and FI (Fire Investigation) officers also - so have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject. :flip: