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Best Paying Forensic Jobs

Updated on February 16, 2024

The field of forensic science offers a diverse array of career paths, each with its own unique set of responsibilities, educational requirements, and potential earnings. From analyzing crime scenes to delving into the financial records of organizations, forensic professionals play a crucial role in the justice system. Below, we explore ten of the best-paying jobs in this fascinating field.

Crime Scene Investigator

  • Average Salary: $90,370/year
  • Job Description: Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) are responsible for collecting, preserving, and analyzing evidence from crime scenes.
  • Responsibilities: Gathering physical evidence, documenting scenes, and collaborating with law enforcement.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science or a related field.

Police Detective

  • Average Salary: $90,370/year
  • Job Description: Police Detectives work on criminal investigations, gathering evidence, and solving cases.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting interviews, analyzing crime scenes, and working with forensic evidence.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, often in Criminal Justice, plus police academy training.

Forensic Scientist

  • Average Salary: $66,850/year
  • Job Description: Forensic Scientists analyze evidence collected by CSIs and contribute scientific expertise to investigations.
  • Responsibilities: Performing laboratory tests, analyzing results, and providing expert testimony.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science or a related scientific field.

Toxicologist

  • Average Salary: $55,040/year
  • Job Description: Toxicologists specialize in analyzing bodily fluids and tissues for toxins and substances.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting toxic substance tests, interpreting results, and testifying in court.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in Toxicology, Chemistry, or a related field, with many holding advanced degrees.

Forensic Accountant

  • Average Salary: $83,980/year
  • Job Description: Forensic Accountants investigate financial crimes, such as embezzlement and fraud.
  • Responsibilities: Examining financial records, identifying discrepancies, and providing litigation support.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance, with certifications like CPA or CFE being highly beneficial.

Arson Investigator

  • Average Salary: $69,680/year
  • Job Description: Arson Investigators determine the causes of fires and explosions, often working closely with law enforcement.
  • Responsibilities: Collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and determining fire causes.
  • Required Education: Fire science or criminal justice education, with additional specialized training.

Chemist

  • Average Salary: $89,130/year
  • Job Description: Chemists in forensic roles analyze substances related to criminal investigations.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting chemical analyses, interpreting results, and maintaining laboratory equipment.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry or a closely related field.

Marine Biologist

  • Average Salary: $90,010/year
  • Job Description: Marine Biologists in forensic roles contribute expertise in cases involving marine environments.
  • Responsibilities: Analyzing marine samples, assessing environmental impact, and aiding in maritime-related cases.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology or Environmental Science, often with advanced degrees.

Radiologist

  • Average Salary: $66,490/year
  • Job Description: Forensic Radiologists use imaging techniques to assist in investigations, particularly those involving injuries.
  • Responsibilities: Analyzing x-rays and other images, providing expert opinions, and testifying in court.
  • Required Education: Medical degree with specialization in Radiology, plus a license to practice.

Medical Researcher

  • Average Salary: Data not specified in the sources but generally high, depending on the field of specialization.
  • Job Description: Medical Researchers in forensic settings investigate medical aspects related to crimes, such as drug effects.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting research, analyzing biological samples, and developing new forensic methods.
  • Required Education: Advanced degrees in medical or biological sciences.

Final Thoughts

A career in forensic science not only promises intellectual stimulation and the satisfaction of contributing to justice but also offers lucrative financial rewards. Whether your interests lie in the scientific analysis of evidence, financial investigations, or the exploration of environmental impacts on criminal activity, there is a forensic field suited to your skills and passions.

Specialized Careers and Industries

Sources

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I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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