Forensic science technician salary
I really want to focus on the forensic science technician – what he does, how much money he makes, colleges, and so on. I wrote a general post about this job here, but to sum it up here: forensic science technicians help solve crimes by collecting and interpreting evidence from crime scenes. They can do everything from gathering evidence from the crime scene to computer forensics to DNA analysis, and many many others. The CSI technician does a lot of work, works flexible hours, has to know a lot of stuff from several fields… what does he make (aside for the reward of cathing the bad guys?).
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), forensic science technicians earned a median salary of $51,480 in 2009. That number is increasing slowly, but the thing is, the sum varies greatly from one area to another. For example, in the US, in Arkansas the average salary is just under $40.000/year, while in Kansas, the average is almost double: $73.000/year. Massachussets – $82.000. Why this difference? Hard to say; the average salary depends on the state finances, supply and demand, number of positions, etc.
This also depends on the level – typically, he hiring salary is 60% of the average salary in the state, and with 2 years of experience, you go to about 90% of the average salary, and once you hit senior level, with over 10 years of experience, you generally start going way above the average. What about Europe? I could only find reliable data from UK, but if you have any other sources, I would definitely publish them.
Great Britain loves their forensic technicians – the hiring salary is over 16.000 pounds (25.000 dollars), but after only 2 years, you easily go up to $46.000.
When calculating the salary, you should keep in mind that all the extra hours that you will do are paid – in most cases at least. Also, your level of studies matters. Some offices won’t even hire you with only Bachelor, but even if they do, an MSC will definitely help – doesn’t really have to be in forensics, but it will definitely be a worthy investment – both for your knowledge and for your salary.
If you want to become a forensic science technician, the salary is definitely not your top reason – the money is OK, you have the possibility to build a fine carreer, but the are simply better rewards out there in this line of work.
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