Forensic Scientists assist in solving crimes by using scientific techniques to analyse evidence. They can analyse a wide variety of evidence, including ballistics, blood and tissue samples, drugs and poisons, and more. Some Forensic Scientists work in the field, gathering evidence from a crime scene, while others work in the lab, examining gathered evidence.
If you’re curious and analytical, have a passion for science, and want to help bring offenders to justice, becoming a Forensic Scientist could be perfect for you.
- Analytical and curious
- Great problem solver
- Can work in teams and alone
- Excellent communicator
- Observant and patient
- Unbiased and fair
- Strong sense of justice
- Resilient with a strong stomach
- Examining crime scenes and gathering evidence
- Identifying chemicals, drugs and poisons
- Profiling organic compounds and biological materials
- Thoroughly documenting findings and observations
- Working with other professionals, including police officers and scientists
- Presenting findings to legal practitioners and law enforcement
- Testifying and presenting evidence in court
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Low – around 30% of Forensic Scientists work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 42 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Forensic Scientists’ salary (average) $97,000* per year (source: indeed.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Very strong (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Most of your work will probably be done indoors in laboratories, and during normal business hours.
- You will need to be prepared to see some confronting things as part of your work.
Forensic Scientists are most in demand in these locations:
There is currently no data available on how many people work as Forensic Scientists in Australia. Demand is highest in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Most Forensic Scientists work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry.
How to become a Forensic Scientist in Australia
To become a Forensic Scientist in Australia, you’ll need at minimum a relevant undergraduate qualification, preferably with Honours. Postgraduate qualifications are also highly regarded.
Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English, Maths and Sciences.
Step 2 – Complete a relevant undergraduate qualification, such as a Bachelor of Forensic Science or Bachelor of Science.
Step 3 – Consider completing a postgraduate qualification, such as a Graduate Certificate or Diploma, or Masters in Forensic Science.
Step 4 – Find work as a Forensic Scientist.
Step 5 – Specialise in a particular area of Forensic Science.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Forensic Scientists do?
Forensic Scientists gather and analyse evidence from crime scenes to help law enforcement solve complex crimes.
Which industries employ Forensic Scientists?
Forensic Scientists are mostly employed in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry.
What options are there for career progression?
There are lots of different kinds of Forensic Science you might like to specialise in, including chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, botany, entomology, pharmacology, toxicology, crime scene examination, firearms examination, or fingerprint and document examination.
Do I need to go to university to become a Forensic Scientist?
Yes, you will need to study a relevant undergraduate degree, and also obtain postgraduate qualifications.
Where do Forensic Scientists work?
Forensic Scientists are generally employed by State and Territory police forces, as well as the Federal Government. They may also work in Government health departments.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Forensic Scientist?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Forensic Scientist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Start thinking about which specialty you might be interested in, and choose your school subjects based on this specialty, as well as the subjects you need to get into a relevant degree.
- See if you can find work experience in law enforcement or science. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
- Talk to a Forensic Scientist to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in forensics.