If you are interested in choosing Crime Scene Investigation as your occupation, there are some initial considerations. First of all, you will need to consider what position and capacity you would like to work in. This is important because there are many areas of working in CSI Crime Scene Investigation. Knowing which area you want to go into will help you in choosing your education subject and specialization. The education you obtain before becoming a crime scene investigator will have a significant impact on your career as a CSI. The level and nature of your education not only determines your being hired, but also your position and how quickly you get promoted.
Once you choose the area you want to work in, you can start your education on the completion of which you can get hired. In order to weigh your options as to what position you would like to have as a CSI, it is important to understand that job as the first step. You should find out all you can about the area you are interested in. This includes everything from the responsibilities of the job to the qualifications required for the job. Every job has a set of personal abilities that it requires. Crime scene investigators, having their own, unique set of interpersonal skills make them unique to complete every job up to perfection. One should find out what those are and then work upon developing them as personal strengths.
When you have found out about the different crime scene investigator jobs and the educational background and skills needed for it, the next step is towards obtaining the required degree or educational qualification. That really is a first step on how to become a crime scene investigator. There are some positions in CSI that have 4 years’ degree as a requirement. There are other positions, however, that require just high school graduation. For people who are interested in working in the crime laboratory, the requirement is 4 years’ degree preferably in subjects like biology or chemistry. Other degrees that lead to career as CSI include criminal justice and Criminology among others. There are some CSI jobs that require a 2-year associate degree while there are others that require a 4-year bachelor’s degree. The crime scene investigator salary varies depending upon the subject, and the field chosen to work as a CSI.
Some of the educational degrees that are considered great for becoming a CSI in future include Forensic Science, with specialization in biology or chemistry, and Forensic Psychology. Computer Forensics is an entire area of specialization, having a high scope with the technological advancements occurring in criminal investigation. Another specialization area for aspiring CSIs is Forensic photography that deals with various procedures to capture the crime scene and analyze for all the evidence found in the snapshots.
There are agencies in geographical regions that assist those aspiring to become CSIs. There are some agencies that require for you to become a police officer first and then proceed to becoming a CSI. However, this is rarely a compulsory requirement. As the responsibilities of CSIs vary from one region to another, inquiring about these is useful.
Some of the qualities required in CSIs as personal strengths include the ability to maintain concentration and be meticulous and detail-oriented in analysis. Being methodical is an essential for one to become a CSI. Communication skills are important for CSIs to have. These include written as well as oral communication skills. Other than the paper work and reports where these skills can come in handy, the oral skills are important in dealing with the suspects and other people associated with the case. Deductive reasoning is also a plus for a CSI to have. This consists of drawing conclusions from the available clues and evidence. Teamwork is important in Criminal investigation and hence, CSIs should be able to work well in teams. The ability to keep cool and focused in otherwise traumatizing situations is a skill that a CSI needs to possess during crime scene investigation. This is because every case could get complicated from previous ones. Physical shape and health are also given importance CSI is a physically demanding task that requires consistent dose of effort for maintenance of health.
After you have done your graduation, it can take anywhere from six to ten years to become a crime scene investigator including college years too. After completing the formal degree, people who are selected to become CSIs are sent to the police academy for advanced level hands on training. For people who become police officers before they become CSIs, it is advisable to provide assistance in processing crime scene processing. This gives them the exposure and experience for becoming a CSI in the future.
Having good observation and instincts is considered important for being an efficient crime scene investigator. If you want to gain some exposure and initial experience in law enforcement and detective work, you can also apply for internships in police departments or agencies associated with law enforcement and criminal investigation departments. Some local police departments also offer training programs. Through these, you gain experience and knowledge that can lead to you becoming a good CSI.
If you are looking at a career as CSI, it is a good idea to consult resources and books that can give you knowledge about the techniques and processes involved in crime scene processing. This knowledge you gain at initial level will help you get a head start later on when you become a CSI.