Forensic science technicians study evidence from crime scenes to help law enforcement. They work, primarily, in lab settings analyzing the evidence brought to them by police and crime scene investigators. They may also work with coroners and in morgues.
Forensic science technicians typically have science backgrounds – for example, in biology and chemistry. They must be very organized and very attentive to detail. They also use critical thinking and communication skills.
Joseph Parian is a NIBIN Technician in Houston with a focus on firearms. NIBIN is the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.
“The NIBIN Program automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner. NIBIN is the only interstate automated ballistic imaging network in operation in the United States and is available to most major population centers in the United States,” according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Due to their expertise, forensic science technicians can be called upon to provide expert testimony in criminal cases.
Since the COVID outbreak, Parian says, “Our intake of firearms has surprisingly gone up. We worked 524 guns in the month of September which is a significant increase.”
Parian continues to work in the lab wearing a mask, but is able to complete note corrections at home.
In 2019, the median pay for a forensic science technician was $59,150 per year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the occupation is expected to grow 14% in the 10 years ending in 2029. But the BLS notes, because it is a small occupation, this will result in only about 2,400 new jobs over that period of time. Competition for jobs is expected to be strong.