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Crime Scene Investigator Career Information



Have you ever sat back watching a late night crime show on TV and wondered if that could be you investigating the scene of the crime? With the right qualifications you could be well on your way to working as a CSI. It's an exciting and lucrative career path that offers you far more than a job.

If you have an interest in crime and science, an eye for detail and a passion for law enforcement and justice, then a career in crime scene investigation will be one that you truly enjoy. Working as a CSI, your daily work will be ever changing, exciting and interesting. You will see and do things that other people may never even dream of. No two days of work will be the same.

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A CSI is responsible for securing and analyzing the scene of a crime, such as an assault, robbery or murder. On arrival at the scene a CSI will first secure the location, check anyone present for injuries and stop civilians from entering the scene, often with the help of police officers or other law enforcement officials. They will then scope the scene for any evidence that could lead to information about the crime. They are also looking for evidence that may help locate and prosecute any persons involved.

A CSI could find themselves taking crime scene photography for later reference or collecting samples for DNA or other information. Another task of the CSI is to help recreate the course of the crime. Using evidence such as blood splatter, footprints or disturbed objects they will recreate what happened during the time that the crime actually occurred. There is no a typical crime or crime scene, so when you become a CSI you will need to keep your investigative skills sharp.

Another duty of a CSI is to categorize and identify any evidence that has been taken from the scene. They may later need to testify in court as to the state of the crime scene and any evidence that was collected. Some, but not all, crime scene investigators will also be responsible for collecting any samples taking from the crime scene and processing them at the lab.

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Career Outlook

There are many possibilities for the career path of a crime scene investigator. Many find themselves working for local law enforcement agencies, but there are also job prospects within private firms, the FBI as well as the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

Once you are established as a CSI, there are many other career opportunities that you can move on to. Many CSIs move on to become lab technicians, crime scene photographers or even private investigators. The skills that you learn as a crime scene investigator translate well to many other careers.


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Salary and Benefits

Not only is crime scene investigation an exciting and challenging role, it can also provide a lucrative salary as well as other benefits.

The average salary for a crime scene investigator in the United States is around $50,000 per year. There are also many people in the industry who get paid even more than this again, depending on experience and qualifications. Many CSI's are employed by government agencies, so you can be assured of job security over the course of your career.

Requirements to become a CSI

The requirements to become a crime scene investigator vary from state to state. Most require a high school diploma as well as a college degree in crime scene investigation, criminal justice, or biology. A background in police work may be looked well upon by some, but not all agencies.

It is possible to become a CSI by completing an online degree or diploma. There are several courses available that meet the requirements to become a crime scene investigator. Such programs are held in high regard by departments and agencies involved in employing crime scene investigators. These courses are flexible and allow you to learn when it fits in with your schedule, often allowing you to complete the course faster than with a traditional college course.

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