Forensic scientists are an integral part of the criminal justice system, helping the authorities uncover details related to criminal, civil and regulatory concerns. These individuals perform a variety of tasks, such as analyzing crime scenes to collect evidence, taking photographs of the crime scene and making sketches where needed, recording observations, collecting evidence, performing chemical analyses and consulting with experts in related fields to arrive at a conclusion.
In order to get into this field, there are some career facts that you need to be aware of. The following guide discusses the forensic scientist salary figures, job outlook and how to become a forensic scientist in the US.

According to 2018 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forensic Science Technicians made an annual mean income of $62,490, which translates to an hourly wage of $30.05. The top paying industry for Forensic Science Technicians was the Federal Executive Branch, with an annual mean salary of $110,720. This was followed by the Scientific Research and Development Services sector, with an annual mean wage of $85,510.

Salary trends for Forensic Science Technicians varied according to the state as well. The following chart shows the top paying states for this occupational category in 2018.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The salary figures for Forensic Science Technicians also varied from year to year. According to the latest data available with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary for this occupational category has risen over the years from 2016 to 2018. This rise is evident from the table below.

Year Annual Mean Salary
2016 $60,690
2017 $61,220
2018 $62,490

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Job Outlook for Forensic Scientists

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for Forensic Science Technicians is expected to grow by 14%, which is a rate much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth rate will result in an addition of 2,400 new jobs in the years from 2018 to 2028. This high rate of growth is a result of the state and local government consistently hiring forensic science technicians to process high case loads. Technological and scientific advances are also likely to increase the availability and usefulness of forensic information as evidence in court cases.