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Forensic Scientist

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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.

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 £23,000 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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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

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2019
9901
1.8 %
RISE
2024
10079
  United Kingdom
2019
85285
1.8 %
RISE
2024
86780

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What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You should have:

Training

Getting On

Video

Courtesy of Careersbox

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
Tel: 01423 790391
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 276 3197
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/
Website (2): http://www.rsc.org/careers/future/
Twitter: @RoySocChem
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalSocietyofChemistry

Science Council
Tel: 020 3434 2020
E-mail: enquiries@sciencecouncil.org
Website: http://www.sciencecouncil.org/
Website (2): http://www.futuremorph.org/
Twitter: @Science_Council

The Science Council provides the quality assurance system for those working in science. They set the standards for professional registration for practising scientists and science technicians across all scientific disciplines. Those scientists who reach the required standards are recognised by the following designations CSci, CSciTeach, RSci and RSciTech.

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

Skills for Justice
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Website: http://www.sfjuk.com/
Twitter: @Skills_Justice
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skillsforjustice

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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