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Forensic Scientist

Forensic Scientist Image

Forensic scientists apply science to the law. They use various methods to identify and examine traces of physical evidence, and prepare them for use in court by the prosecution or the defence. They may establish a link between the accused and the scene of the crime or they may help settle disputes, for example find the cause of a fire. Although evidence is typically presented as a report, you may have to attend court to give evidence in person. 

The Work

There are several specialist areas:

You could be:

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Starting salaries for forensic scientists are around £20,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £25,000 and £35,000. Senior staff can earn up to £45,000 a year or more.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Useful Subjects

Getting In

Forensic science jobs are usually advertised in the New Scientist, as well as the local press. In Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) Forensic Services combines forensic laboratory, scene examination and fingerprint facilities. It has a dedicated forensic multimedia unit, the first of its kind in Scotland. They advertise vacancies on their website.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2024
3893
3.3 %
RISE
2029
4020
  United Kingdom
2024
45623
4.7 %
RISE
2029
47760

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What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You should have:

Training

Getting On

Video

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Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
Tel: 01423 534646
E-mail: info@csofs.org
Website: http://www.csofs.org
Twitter: @CharterForSci
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheForensicScienceSociety

Institute of Science and Technology
Tel: 0114 553 1401
E-mail: office@istonline.org.uk
Website: http://www.istonline.org.uk/
Twitter: @istonline
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/istonline.org.uk

Royal Society of Chemistry
Tel: 01223 420066
Website: http://www.rsc.org/
Twitter: @RoySocChem
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalSocietyofChemistry

Scottish Police Authority (SPA)
Tel: 01786 896630
E-mail: enquiries@spa.police.uk
Website: http://www.spa.police.uk
Twitter: @ScotPolAuth

Skills for Justice
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Website: https://skillsforjustice.org.uk/
Twitter: @Skills_Justice

Skills for Justice is the Sector Skills Council for the Justice, Community Safety and Legal Services Sectors. The careers section of their website holds information on the careers within these sectors.

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