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Becoming a crime scene technician

You will need crime scene technician training to get a crime scene technicians job. The type of training will depend on the law enforcement agency that employs you. Some agencies will hire somebody with high school diploma and a crime scene certificate, but make no mistake about it, most agencies require a college degree. At least an associate degree in law enforcement, police science, or an associates degree in criminal justice will be required. To get a leg up on the competition, a bachelor’s degree in the above majors will help.

  • Sign up for an accredited university and earn a minimum of an associate's degree in a field like criminal justice, forensics or chemistry. Then you can earn a bachelor's degree to increase your chances of working with your preferred agency and to increase your earnings potential. Some accredited and suggested online schools are listed at the bottom of this page.

Other Requirements for CSI:

  • You'll need to be specific with the specialty you wish to pursue. You'll have the option to focus on areas such as DNA typing, fingerprint analysis, firearms or crime scene investigation. Choose courses that will offer hands-on training and internships in your specialty.
  • Become certified. More often than not, this comes with your college degree. You'll notice that most states have a different certification or licensing requirement for crime scene technicians. Once you figure out the your area of interest, contact that agency and ask for the specifics.
  • Optionally, you can attend a police academy. This can be a great idea if your work will be largely science based. However, if your interest is in some type of investigative position, joining the police force will be required. As you begin to talk to more and more crime scene technicians, you'll begin to realize that they are also law enforcement officers.
  • Once you start applying for positions (in some instances, you will need to pass these checks before being admitted into your college program of study) to become a crime scene technicians, you'll need to pass:
    • Extensive background checks
    • Polygraph exam
    • Physical examination
    • Credit check
    • Psychological evaluation

Select a Crime Scene Technician Training Program