A Career In Crime Scene Investigation Essay

Popularized by many TV shows like, Criminal Minds or NCIS, the interest in forensic and investigative careers is growing. There is a broad spectrum of jobs that make up this entire department, such as, detectives, blood analysts, toxicologists, and anthropologists, etc. One job that combines and gives a general overview of these careers, is Crime Scene Investigation. Crime scene investigators(CSls) work closely with law enforcement to help gather and investigate evidence found at a crime scene.

I believe I will enjoy this job; even with the gruesome sights I might have to witness, because I love solving things and I also enjoy the idea of bringing justice to the victims of a crime. As I’ve researched this career I’ve learned quite a few things; the word “typical” doesn’t exist in this field; everything varies in this job, from the work environment, the salary, the job requirements, and even the day to day work and duties. “Despite Hollywood’s portrayal, Crime Scene Investigation is a difficult and time consuming job.

There is no substitute for a careful and thoughtful approach” (“Becoming a crime scene investigator”). Many CSIs work in police departments, offices, labs, and even morgues. Newly hired CSIs typically assist experienced investigators. New investigators often learn proper procedures and methods for collecting and documenting evidence while under supervision(“Summary’). Crime can happen anywhere at anytime, this requires investigators to work tentative work schedules.

Being on-call is not uncommon in this field, time consumption also occurs when investigators are called to travel to a crime scene, however this also depends on the investigators jurisdiction. About 88% of forensic science technicians in state and local government. departments(“Summary”). This simply means their jurisdiction is either on a state level or local level. Over time, as investigators prove themselves through their work, they may be asked to work at a national level. No criminal is the same nor is any crime.

Even though this is fact, there is a certain procedure written out for CSIs that they follow in order to insure all evidence is gathered and documented properly. The procedure follows these basic steps:first when responders first arrive on scene the area will need to be marked off to keep outsiders from effecting evidence in the perimeter and to show the designated areas of the crime scene. Second, investigators will develop a strategy as to how they will go about the scene. This could involve what direction they are going to go about collecting evidence.

In a murder situation they might collect DNA, blood, hair tissue or fingerprints. In a robbery, fingerprints may be taken from areas of entry or other surfaces. Following this, the CSIs will begin the documentation process. Formal documents that will be sent to local law agencies or other forensic personnel. These documents include sketches, pictures and notes taken about the crime scene. Next, evidence collection will begin. This can be tedious work for CSIs because they must make sure the evidence is not altered or becomes “unclean”.

This process can sometimes take hours. Lastly, the legal section of Crime Scene Investigation work begins. Along with law enforcement, CSIS also work closely with lawyers to aid in criminal proceedings. They sometimes are asked to testify in court, in order to explain evidence and the conclusions drawn from the evidence(“Working conditions of a Crime Scene Investigator”). All of this work can become stressful for investigators. They toil in order to produce results quickly for investigative purposes. It is up to CSls, regardless of their professional scope, to ensure a step-by-step approach to identifying, collecting and preserving physical evidence is trained” (“CSI Job Description”). In order to be sure that individuals are sagacious with their work, on-thejob training is required and this could last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, depending on the specialty(“Working conditions of a Crime Scene Investigator”). The 2015 median pay for Crime Scene Investigation was $27. 08 per hour or $56,320 per year.

It is estimated that investigators working at a national can receive an annual salary of $14,800, whereas those working at a local level have an average of $51,100. “Summary”). Due to overtime work, the salary amount may vary. With more experience an investigator may be promoted to specialist or private detective. Similar careers that follow closely with Crime Scene Investigation are Forensic Science Technician, detective, and private detective. In 2014, there were an estimated 14,400 jobs in this field.

Employment is expected to rise by 3,800 from 2014 to 2024(“Summary”). “The Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook states: “Employment is projected to grow by 27% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than average for all occupations”(“Becoming a crime scene investigator”). Because crime is a constant in society there will always be an open job for law enforcers or criminal investigators alike. There is an obvious trend that shows more populated areas result in more crime, thus meaning areas such as, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago acquire more law agencies.

The more crime agencies allows for better job opportunities; these cities and states are great locations to begin a career in criminal investigation. More than knowledge is needed to succeed in this field. Important qualities in an investigator include: good communication among coworkers both orally and written. Critical-thinking and detail-oriented, CSls must be almost infallible when investigating crime scenes, the smallest trace of evidence could be on the most unlikely object but can still aid in solving a case. Math, science and problem solving skills are important to aid in investigations.

Physical stamina is also necessary due to long periods of standing or kneeling at crime scenes or labs (“Summary”). Another trait investigators need to have is composure. CSIs will see a number of gruesome sights during their career, it’s important they maintain a professional countenance when handling or dealing with crime. Many schools and universities around the world offer majors in forensic science or criminal justice. While looking to stay in Oklahoma and close to family I have chosen the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).

UCO is a university set in Edmond, Oklahoma. It is the 3rd largest in the state, with a student to faculty ratio of 19:1(Connect to Central). It’s located in an urban setting, which gives students great opportunities for internships in their career (Connect to Central). Tuition for residents of the university is $16, 296 per year(Connect to Central). 76% of students attending UCO receive financial support and 80% of students who submit an application are typically accepted into the university(“University of Central Oklahoma”).

At UCO, there are 117 majors to choose from(Connect to Central). In order to obtain a degree in forensic science another major also has to be completed. For a career in Crime Scene Investigation, I will need to get my Bachelor’s Degree in both forensic science and criminal justice (“UCO: Forensic Science Institute”). Classes in the forensic science major begin with introduction to forensics and starts pedaling forward into classes such as, DNA, interviewing, psychology, crime scene reconstruction, bloodstain pattern, labs, and more(“UCO: Forensic Science Institute”).

Most forensic jobs require workers only to have a Bachelor’s Degree. The typical amount of time to complete these degrees in an undergraduate program is four years(“University Of Central Oklahoma”). Freshman admission requirements to attend UCO include: a composite score of 20 on the ACT or a 2. 7 GPA and ranked in the upper 50% of graduating class, or 2. 7 GPA in 15 unit high school classes. (Connect to Central). When applying as an incoming freshman, UCO requires official transcripts from all institutions that student has attended.

UCO is a school where they love to see students feel at home, the campus life is diverse to help promote different interests and friendships among students (“University Of Central Oklahoma”). Thave begun preparing for the future by taking on more responsibility. I am doing so by taking small leaps, such as, paying for my own car and working for the things I want to buy. I have certain goals for myself, which include keeping my transcript in good condition and making sure I have good records to send to UCO.

I plan to meet these goals by building on the growth I have made as a young adult and expanding on the responsibilities that I already hold. In order to be ready for attendance at UCO I need to take a campus tour and hopefully meet students who are currently in my major and really see if this career is right for me. I plan to keep my grades high by studying and staying active in school and my clubs. One way to prepare is to not force this career on myself. It’s important to remember that plans may change and nothing is ever set in stone.