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By: Susan Haubrich
Since so many drama shows on TV such as NCIS, CSI and Body of Proof feature forensics, criminal forensics careers are becoming more popular. The good news is that a criminal justice degree can be the starting point for not only an interesting career, but one that tends to be recession proof. What's harder to determine is exactly which area of forensics you want to go into. Below is a list of the top 10 most popular careers in forensics.

Forensic Examiner
A crime scene investigator, otherwise known as a forensic examiner collects and analyzes the evidence found at crime scenes such as sexual assaults, burglaries or homicides. The crime scene investigator is probably the most well known criminal forensics job mostly because of the popularity of CSI.

Fingerprint Examiner
Fingerprints are the impressions left on surfaces that someone has touched. Collecting the fingerprints, palm prints and footprints from a crime scene is one of the most important aspects of forensics. As a Finger Print Examiner, not only are you responsible for identifying the prints, you have to analyze and compare them with other prints that have been recovered and are stored in computerized databases.

Forensic Accounting
There are a wide variety of legal investigations that require the assistance of accountants to collect, analyze and report on data relating to fraud and other types of financial wrong doing. While some are only hired to look into the spending habits of divorces, others do corporate forensics to look for embezzlement or money laundering schemes.

Forensic Anthropologist
A forensic anthropologist is brought in to examine human remains for legal and investigative purposes. They often work along side pathologist and homicide investigators collecting evidence to determine how and when a victim died.

Forensic Artist
A forensic artist aids law enforcement and investigators by taking verbal descriptions given by witnesses and translating them into visual representations of crime suspects, missing persons, and even details of a crime scene.

Forensic Hypnotist
Though objections and inadmissibility issues plague this area of forensics, some criminal investigators still use hypnotists to help witnesses remember specific information regarding a crime.

Forensic Psychologist
As a forensic psychologist, your job is to consult with juries or testify in court on the mental state of a crime suspect. You may also be asked to evaluate individuals and advise on whether they are competent to stand trial.

Forensic Pathologist
Determining the cause of death is extremely important to any investigation. Forensic pathologists are asked to examine cadavers to confirm not only the cause of death, but the identity of the deceased. Of all the criminal forensics jobs, this one probably requires a strongest stomach.

Forensic Serologist
A forensic serologist analyzes blood found at a crime scene to determine, among other things, DNA, blood type, and whether the blood is from a human. Serologists can sometimes identify how long a person has been deceased based on blood findings at the crime scene.

Forensic Toxicologist
Forensic Toxicologists assist death, poisoning and drug related investigations using analytical chemistry, pharmacology, as well as chemistry. This includes determining whether certain substances are present in the body and at what level.

Each of these criminal forensic careers offers something uniquely different and exiting for individuals with criminal justice degrees. While it may not be as exciting and glorious as the TV shows portray, those shows do reveal that there are many exciting career opportunities available.


For all those who love forensics, a Criminal Justice Bachelor degree could open doors with the many career options. Susan Haubrich wanted to find out all she could about Criminal Justice careers and salaries. Visit for more information.
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