Forensic Science Technicians
Education & Training
To work as a forensic science technician, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- have a bachelor's degree in science or a science-related technology; and
- complete moderate-term on-the-job training.
Education after high school
Most forensic science technicians have a bachelor's degree in applied science or technology. Some have a bachelor's degree in biology or chemistry. It is possible to work as a technician if you do not have a bachelor's degree in a life science. However, you need to take many science and math courses in college. Physics and chemistry are especially important. Courses with a laboratory component are also vital.
A summer job in a lab is excellent preparation for working in this field.
While in school, you should consider participating in an internship in a forensic science lab. This experience is very helpful for getting a job. Once on the job, you will receive additional training. The length of training varies by employer. Some labs provide up to one year of training.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
Level of Education
The tables below list the level of education attained by a subset of workers in this occupation. The workers surveyed were between age 25 and 44.
|Education level attained||Percentage of workers in this occupation*|
|Less than high school diploma||3|
|High school diploma or equivalent||18|
|Some college, no degree||24|
|Doctoral (Ph.D.) or professional degree||4|
* National data for forensic science technicians (SOC 19-4092).
Helpful High School Courses
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements. Forensic science technicians need a strong background in math and science. Take as many advanced classes as you can.
You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Computer Applications
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.