A fingerprint technician is a forensic scientist who usually works with law enforcement agencies to identify criminals or victims based on fingerprint evidence. To become a fingerprint technician, you will usually need to complete a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and a certification course in fingerprint technology. Some degree programs will also require an internship before you can graduate. You will then need to apply with law enforcement agencies or other institutions that hire fingerprint technicians.
Most fingerprint technician jobs require a bachelor's degree in forensic science or criminal justice. If you are studying full time, this type of degree usually takes four years to complete. The first two years of this degree often include general education or liberal arts courses, which provide a broad knowledge base for students in all areas of study. Classes more specific to the area of study will be taken in the last two years of college. Forensic science majors will include courses in physics and chemistry, while criminal justice degrees lean more toward sociological studies.
Many degree programs will require an internship related to the field of study. You should try to get an internship working as closely with fingerprint technology as possible. This will provide you with relevant experience as well as contacts in the criminal justice field, which may be useful to you as you become a fingerprint technician.
In order to become a fingerprint technician, you may also choose to complete a certification program. These are available through colleges or private companies. This certification will train you in identifying fingerprints by sight or with the most recent fingerprint technologies. Not all agencies require you to have this certification in order to become a fingerprint technician, but it may give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
When you have completed your education, you are ready to begin applying for fingerprint technician jobs. Most fingerprint technician jobs are through government agencies, such as local or state law enforcement agencies, which are usually required to post job openings online. Other companies that sometimes hire fingerprint technicians include hospitals and private investigation firms. You may be able to find out about job openings through the career office at your college.