If you’re looking for 10 of the highest paying jobs in forensic science, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. This list is based off the latest employment statistics available, ranked in terms of annual salary and hourly rate. As you’ll see, the ranking is closely related to educational requirements, internships, residencies, fellowships, on-the-job training, and the number of positions available in the United States. We’ve also mentioned, where we can, the job prospects for the future.
Use the links on the right to select the career you’re interested in for an in-depth look at the salary you can expect. Reading through each career will give you a sense of the educational requirements you might face in pursuing a career in the field. When you have to consider the time involved, the cost, and potential student-loan debt, it helps to understand what the career return on your investment may be. It’s time well spent.
#10 Forensic Biological Technician
$39,000 a year
While forensic science is itself becoming a popular major for college graduates, and, increasingly, a focus of graduate school, a large number of forensic lab personnel are coming into the field of crime scene investigation with general degrees in the component fields of forensics science: biology, chemistry, and physics. As smaller niche areas of forensic become popular, such as forensic anthropology and forensic geology, the field is seeing an increase in the number of traditional geologists and anthropologists entering the work of the crime lab.
While the starting and median salary of a biological technician are on the lower end of salaries, the number of available positions is much higher, as the variety of work, from crime labs to serology units to paternity testing, mean that securing a job is much easier.
As with most science positions, many employing labs understand that continuing education is critical to staying up on the latest. While biology itself, relatively speaking, does not evolve as quickly as other forensic disciplines, some of the advances in biological techniques are increasing. Because of this, biological technicians can expect several hours a year on staying sharp on the DNA sequencing devices and equipment and related software that are created by the major equipment manufacturers. If a biological technician wants to stay abreast of the latest in the field, and in particular, lend credence to his or her competency in testimony in court, then these courses are even more important.A biological technician’s median salary is a little more than $39,000 a year, which translates to a little under $19 per hour.