The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field of forensic science to be among the industries with the fastest job growth rates in the nation by the year 2024. In 2014, there were about 14,400 forensic science jobs. Should the 27 percent job growth rate projected by the BLS three years ago prove to be accurate, then there could be a total of well over 18,000 forensic science jobs observed within the next seven years.
Specialized Forensic Science Professions
The field of forensic science encapsulates a diverse spread of professional practices that prospective professionals in the field can earn degrees to specialize in. Some of the common specialized forensic science professions include:
- Crime Scene Tech Support
- Forensic Ballistics
- Forensic DNA Analysis
- Document Examination
- Forensic Documents Examination
- Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
- Forensic Toxicology
- Forensic Computer Investigation
The various professional disciplines within this field each entail highly specific skill sets and coursework to achieve mastery in, but all of the practice areas have a shared foundation in basic forensic science comprehension.
Forensic Science Salaries
Like most industries, the average annual earning potential in the field of forensic science will vary depending on one's experience and expertise. The BLS reports that the average annual median income for forensic science professionals is just over $56,300, though depending on how long one has been in the field, earnings for forensic workers can range from anywhere between $30,000 and $85,000 a year.
Rising Expectations and Competition
The rising level of demand for forensic science professionals has been correlated with the rising level of technological solution prominence across nearly all industries. Forensic information will be far more accessible and actionable with the assistance of cutting edge technological developments, making those who specialize in collecting said information more valuable to their employing organizations by default.
Experts have postulated that the source of the higher demand for forensic science professionals could be related to a higher overall level of public awareness about the importance of forensic science itself. Thanks in part to a higher degree of media coverage, there are now more expectations for forensic investigators to contribute their skills for clarity and closure in criminal investigations.
The BLS estimates that the change in forensic technician jobs should be about 3,800 more than it was in 2014, though this rising demand will accompany rising competition as well. While the forensic science field is slated to see many more employers expressing an interest in those who specialize in it, the steep requirement for expertise will demand a higher level of effort from prospective forensic science specialists to distinguish themselves from the competition.
The higher level of interest in forensic science that employers will have means that potential applicants will likely be screened with more scrutiny going forward. Going forward, forensic science experts may have a greater need to demonstrate independent proficiency in technological solutions to supplement their contributions to their respective fields.