Crime scene investigators never know what to expect when they enter a crime scene, but they know what they must do. They begin their work with the careful process of identifying, documenting, and collecting physical evidence left at the scene. A CSI has a wide knowledge of forensic science and often a great deal of experience that puts that knowledge to the test.
Good communication skills are essential, and so are in-depth research skills. Often the work of a CSI is much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle of evidence in order to discover the truth of what happened. The grand finale of that process is often the CSI testifying to their process and knowledge in a court of law.
How to Prepare for a Career in CSI
Earning a bachelor's degree in forensic science or a related field is a good move to begin your career as a crime scene investigator. A CSI degree accompanied by a strong knowledge of legal procedure can make you shine among a sea of candidates. Look for a CSI program that offers more than just the bottom line on the scientific aspect.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, crime scene investigators brought home an average salary of $49,860 in 2008, though some made over $80,000 in the line of duty. Your chance to move into crime scene investigation may be very good in the coming years: opportunities for CSI jobs are expected to grow up 20 percent through 2018, much faster than that of other occupations.