Forensic jobs are among the most challenging in the law enforcement field, often requiring technical medical knowledge, as well as a knowledge of police procedure and evidence collection. These types of jobs can lead to a rewarding career for those who have an interest in that type of work, but it may not be for everyone. Forensic jobs may be done in the field, collecting evidence from gruesome crime scenes, or may be done in a sterile lab under a very controlled atmosphere. They may require a knowledge of medicine, mental health or even accounting.
The most common type of forensic science jobs are those that involve working with evidence. Medical examiners and lab technicians are among the most common types of forensic jobs in this category. These individuals are responsible for conducting autopsies, and testing bodily fluids, tissues, and other materials to see if a crime can be linked to a particular individual. Often, this evidence can hold great influence in a court of law, as the identification methods may be able to clearly pinpoint a suspect.
These jobs are considered forensic science jobs, but there are more than just jobs in science-related fields. Forensic simply means to apply a common progression of steps to a situation in order to come to a conclusion. In the case of law enforcement, this is done to solve a crime. Therefore, forensic jobs are also available in many other fields as well as not all crimes will involve biological science.
Forensic accounting, for example, has become very popular, and is a growing field. With financial crimes becoming more sophisticated, it often takes a skilled investigator to solve the crime. The crime not only has to be solved, however, it has to be explained to a jury in a way that is easily understood, if there is to be a conviction. The goal of someone in a forensic accounting job is to trace back the steps of the perpetrator, and draw a conclusion. Usually, there will likely be some sort of paper trail, though there may be false leads and dead ends purposely planted by the perpetrator.
Forensic psychology jobs comprise another type of the many forensic jobs in law enforcement. While some television shows may try to pass forensic psychologists off as the people who delve into the minds of criminals to solve a crime, that is rarely what they are called upon to do. Rather, they may provide expert testimony as to the mental state of the accused person at the time the crime was committed. This could be very important testimony during a trial, in which the insanity defense is being used. The forensic psychologist may also testify about other competency matters.