Crime Scene Investigation Degree - Online and Campus Programs

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Crime scene investigation plays a vital role in investigating and prosecuting crimes. CSI specialists bring together criminal justice and forensic science techniques to collect and analyze criminal evidence.

Crime Scene Investigation: An Overview

Crime scene investigators are skilled in both law enforcement protocol and lab science techniques. They collect evidence at the scene, following criminal investigation procedures, and preserve it for lab analysis. CSI specialists then use specialized techniques to interpret material evidence such as ballistics and weapons, fingerprints, fiber, handwriting, and biological specimens such as hair, blood, and tissue.

How to Prepare for a Career in Crime Scene Investigation

A career in forensic investigation typically starts with a crime scene investigation degree. If you already have a degree in another scientific or criminal justice discipline, you may qualify for a CSI career by completing a crime scene investigation certificate. College crime scene investigation degrees are available at the associate?s and bachelor?s degree level, and combine science and criminal justice coursework. Learn the basics of scientific investigation, criminal behavior, and the criminal justice system before proceeding to more specialized crime scene investigation training. Most CSI programs incorporate hands-on lab training in the proper collection and analysis of different kinds of evidence.

Careers in Crime Scene Investigation

Crime scene investigation training programs prepare you for a range of specialized and general forensic science technician careers. Some of your options include:
  • Crime scene technician
  • Crime scene photographer
  • Fire inspector
  • Fingerprint specialist
  • Forensic lab assistant
Forensic science technicians, including crime scene investigators, face rising demand for their services. The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts 20 percent growth in employment between 2008 and 2018, much faster than average for all occupations. Forensic science technicians earned an average annual wage of $52,960 in 2008.