Forensic Scientist Overview

The job duties and responsibilities of a Forensic Scientist are the following:

  • Conduct analysis on evidence (various depending on discipline):
    • Serological tests to identify and analyze body fluids, tissues and various types of related matter.
    • DNA analysis.
    • Examination and determination of physical, microscopic, and compositional characteristics of physical evidence such as fibers, paint, glass, and ignitable liquids.
    • Drug identification.
    • Hand writing comparisons and questioned document examinations.
    • Examination of firearms and firearms related evidence.
    • Latent fingerprint development and comparisons.
  • Communicate analytical procedures, methodology, and conclusions to various representatives of the criminal justice system including court testimony as an expert witness.
  • Participate in a proficiency testing program.
  • Assist in calibration and maintenance of laboratory instruments.
  • Participate in training and continuing education programs.
  • Prepare laboratory case notes and written reports.

    The educational requirements for a Forensic Scientist are as follows:

    DNA Analysis

    • A Baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or forensic science.
    • Must have successfully completed two of the following three college courses: Genetics, Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology. Remaining course must be successfully completed prior to performing DNA casework.
    • A college Statistics course must also be completed prior to beginning DNA casework.

    Drug Analysis and Microanalysis

    • A Baccalaureate degree in a natural science or forensic science that includes a minimum of one semester of physics and one year or equivalent in each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry/instrumental methods including lecture and associated laboratory classes.

    Firearms Examination, Latent Prints Comparisons and Questioned Documents Analysis

    • A Baccalaureate degree with science courses.

    The general job requirements and essential functions for a Forensic Scientists are as follows:

    • Basic knowledge of the theory and practical operation of a variety of scientific instrumentation and analytical techniques.
    • Ability to communicate clearly in English both orally and in writing with scientific and non-scientific personnel.
    • Must have the ability to differentiate colors as evidenced by medical certification.
    • Must possess a valid Indiana State Driver’s License.
    • Ability to travel by aircraft.
    • Ability to attend training at alternate locations for extended periods of time.