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Forensic Science Technicians

Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
    • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
    • Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.
    • Examine firearms to determine mechanical condition and legal status, performing restoration work on damaged firearms to obtain information, such as serial numbers.
    • Analyze gunshot residue and bullet paths to determine how shootings occurred.
    • Use photographic or video equipment to document evidence or crime scenes.
    • Prepare solutions, reagents, or sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
    • Train new technicians or other personnel on forensic science techniques.
    • Determine types of bullets and specific weapons used in shootings.
    • Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
    • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
    • Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
    • Use chemicals or other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
    • Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
    • Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
    • Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.
    • Compare objects, such as tools, with impression marks to determine whether a specific object is responsible for a specific mark.
    • Interpret laboratory findings or test results to identify and classify substances, materials, or other evidence collected at crime scenes.
    • Testify in court about investigative or analytical methods or findings.
    • Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.

    Skills

    • Social Perceptiveness

      Understanding people's reactions.

    • Writing

      Writing things for co-workers or customers.

    • Critical Thinking

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

    • Negotiation

      Bringing people together to solve differences.

    • Instructing

      Teaching people how to do something.

    • Technology Design

      Making equipment and technology useful for customers.

    • Systems Evaluation

      Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

    • Systems Analysis

      Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.

    • Management of Personnel Resources

      Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.

    • Management of Financial Resources

      Making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent.

    • Time Management

      Managing your time and the time of other people.

    • Science

      Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.

    • Complex Problem Solving

      Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

    • Operations Analysis

      Figuring out what a product or service needs to be able to do.

    • Installation

      Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.

    • Operations Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others.

    • Active Listening

      Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

    • Monitoring

      Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.

    • Repairing

      Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.

    • Troubleshooting

      Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.

    • Management of Material Resources

      Managing equipment and materials.

    • Judgment and Decision Making

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.

    • Active Learning

      Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    • Coordination

      Changing what is done based on other people's actions.

    • Persuasion

      Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.

    • Service Orientation

      Looking for ways to help people.

    • Equipment Selection

      Deciding what kind of tools and equipment are needed to do a job.

    • Programming

      Writing computer programs.

    • Operation and Control

      Using equipment or systems.

    • Equipment Maintenance

      Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.

    • Learning Strategies

      Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Reading work-related information.

    • Mathematics

      Using math to solve problems.

    • Quality Control Analysis

      Testing how well a product or service works.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    5
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    4

    Abilities

    • Speed of Closure

      Quickly knowing what you are looking at.

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      Keeping your arm or hand steady.

    • Multilimb Coordination

      Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.

    • Speech Clarity

      Speaking clearly.

    • Originality

      Creating new and original ideas.

    • Category Flexibility

      Grouping things in different ways.

    • Stamina

      Exercising for a long time without getting out of breath.

    • Visual Color Discrimination

      Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.

    • Gross Body Coordination

      Moving your arms, legs, and mid-section together while your whole body is moving.

    • Oral Expression

      Communicating by speaking.

    • Deductive Reasoning

      Using rules to solve problems.

    • Mathematical Reasoning

      Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.

    • Dynamic Strength

      Exercising for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

    • Auditory Attention

      Paying attention to one sound while there are other distracting sounds.

    • Response Orientation

      Quickly deciding if you should move your hand, foot, or other body part.

    • Control Precision

      Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

    • Selective Attention

      Paying attention to something without being distracted.

    • Wrist-Finger Speed

      Making fast, simple, repeated movements of your fingers, hands, and wrists.

    • Memorization

      Remembering words, numbers, pictures, or steps.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      Noticing when problems happen.

    • Oral Comprehension

      Listening and understanding what people say.

    • Fluency of Ideas

      Coming up with lots of ideas.

    • Near Vision

      Seeing details up close.

    • Depth Perception

      Deciding which thing is closer or farther away from you, or deciding how far away it is from you.

    • Speech Recognition

      Recognizing spoken words.

    • Explosive Strength

      Jumping, sprinting, or throwing something.

    • Peripheral Vision

      Seeing something to your side when your are looking ahead.

    • Trunk Strength

      Using your lower back and stomach.

    • Sound Localization

      Noticing the direction that a sound came from.

    • Speed of Limb Movement

      Quickly moving your arms and legs.

    • Gross Body Equilibrium

      Keeping your balance or staying upright.

    • Time Sharing

      Doing two or more things at the same time.

    • Perceptual Speed

      Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

    • Manual Dexterity

      Holding or moving items with your hands.

    • Flexibility of Closure

      Seeing hidden patterns.

    • Rate Control

      Changing when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

    • Visualization

      Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

    • Spatial Orientation

      Knowing where things are around you.

    • Finger Dexterity

      Putting together small parts with your fingers.

    • Reaction Time

      Quickly moving your hand, finger, or foot based on a sound, light, picture or other command.

    • Written Expression

      Communicating by writing.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.

    • Number Facility

      Adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.

    • Written Comprehension

      Reading and understanding what is written.

    • Information Ordering

      Ordering or arranging things.

    • Static Strength

      Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying.

    • Extent Flexibility

      Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Far Vision

      Seeing details that are far away.

    • Glare Sensitivity

      Seeing something even if there is a glare or very bright light.

    • Dynamic Flexibility

      Quickly and repeatedly bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Hearing Sensitivity

      Telling the difference between sounds.

    • Night Vision

      Seeing at night or under low light.

    Knowledge

    • Administrative

      Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

    • Personnel and Human Resources

      Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

    • Design

      Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    • Chemistry

      Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

    • Fine Arts

      Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

    • Therapy and Counseling

      Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Public Safety and Security

      Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    • Foreign Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

    • Administration and Management

      Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

    • Economics and Accounting

      Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

    • Production and Processing

      Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    • Biology

      Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

    • History and Archeology

      Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

    • Communications and Media

      Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

    • Sales and Marketing

      Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Physics

      Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.

    • Law and Government

      Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

    • Food Production

      Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

    • Computers and Electronics

      Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    • Medicine and Dentistry

      Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

    • Telecommunications

      Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

    • Building and Construction

      Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    • Mechanical

      Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    • Psychology

      Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    • Education and Training

      Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    • Philosophy and Theology

      Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

    • Transportation

      Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    • Engineering and Technology

      Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

    • Geography

      Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • Sociology and Anthropology

      Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.

    Career Video

    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop

    Pay

    • Ohio Annual Salary 64250/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 30.89/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 490
    • Yearly Projected Openings 60

    Typical Education

    Personality

    Investigative: People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Integrity
    • Self Control
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Adaptability/Flexibility

    Tools

    • Alcohol analyzers
    • Benchtop centrifuges
    • Binocular light compound microscopes
    • Biological evidence collection kits
    • Biometric identification equipment
    • Camera lens
    • Desktop computers
    • Digital camcorders or video cameras
    • Digital cameras
    • Direction finding compasses
    • Distance meters
    • Endoscopic hemostatic balloons or needles or tubes or accessories
    • Fabric or netting for entomology
    • Fingerprint applicators or brushes
    • Fingerprint latent print kits
    • Flags or accessories
    • Footprint lifters
    • Footwear covers
    • Forensic chemical workstations
    • Gas generators
    • Goggles
    • Handheld thermometer
    • Hazardous material protective apparel
    • Identification markers
    • Infrared lamps
    • Inspection mirror
    • Laboratory balances
    • Laboratory hotplates
    • Laboratory insect containers
    • Laboratory mixers
    • Laboratory scalpels
    • Laboratory scissors
    • Laboratory sifting equipment
    • Laboratory spatulas
    • Laboratory tools
    • Laboratory washing machines
    • Lasers
    • Magnifiers
    • Measuring wheels for distance
    • Metal detectors
    • Microscope slides
    • Minivans or vans
    • Narcotic test kits
    • Nitrogen or nitrate or nitrite analyzer
    • Notebook computers
    • Personal computers
    • Portable data input terminals
    • Postmortem fingerprint or impression materials
    • Power saws
    • Protective gloves
    • Protractors
    • Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories
    • Rulers
    • Safety glasses
    • Sexual assault determination kits
    • Shovels
    • Spades
    • Specimen collection container
    • Spectrophotometers
    • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers
    • Still cameras
    • Surgical isolation or surgical masks
    • Tape measures
    • Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers
    • Two way radios
    • Ultraviolet UV lamps
    • Utility knives

    Technology

    • Analytical or scientific software
    • Computer aided design CAD software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Graphics or photo imaging software
    • Internet browser software
    • Office suite software
    • Operating system software
    • Presentation software
    • Process mapping and design software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Word processing software

    Tags

    • InDemand occupations are considered a priority by the state of Ohio.
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