The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) works by matching job seekers to one or more of six different career categories (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional). It works by first analyzing job seekers’ preferences in several areas, such as their interest in different subjects, the level of independence they prefer to have in the workplace, etc. Then, it compares their responses to professionals working in dozens of fields across the six career categories and guides the job seeker towards career categories shared by professionals whose responses are similar to their own. For example, a job seeker whose answers are in line with those of professionals in Investigative careers is likely to be guided towards the Investigative Theme Code Category. The Investigative Theme Code Category contains dozens of jobs that share specific characteristics. For example, Investigative careers typically involve quantitative rather than interpersonal skills, as well as the collection and analysis of data that provide insights into how the world works. Forensic Science Technicians is an example of an Investigative career.

Forensic Science Technicians are responsible for collecting, identifying, and analyzing evidence related to ongoing criminal investigations to determine their relevance to the investigation and if they can reveal the actual events or circumstances of the crime committed. This process starts at the crime scene and involves ensuring that all necessary evidence is collected appropriately without contaminating the evidence and unduly disturbing the crime scene itself. Examples of evidence may include fibers, bodily fluids or tissues, hair, fingerprints, clothing, photographs, and more. In some cases, Forensic Science Technicians may be asked to visit morgues or contact additional sources to obtain necessary evidence.

Strong Interest Inventory Forensic Science Technicians Career

Learn all about a career as a forensic science technician, including career stats such as median salary, daily tasks, required education, employment growth, and more!

Once sufficient evidence has been collected, it is time to begin analysis. The analysis may involve chemical processes (e.g., preparing and using solutions, reagents, and other solutions) or recreating crime scenes or events and conferring with experts in fingerprinting, handwriting, electronics, ballistics, or other specializations. This analysis aims to determine exactly what happened during the crime and who is responsible. Once the analysis is complete, Forensic Science Technicians write and submit reports or verbal documentation of their findings and procedures. They may also need to appear in court to testify concerning their process as well as the nature of the evidence and their techniques of analysis. Because their work has legal implications and will be heavily scrutinized, Forensic Science Technicians need to keep detailed records that account for their findings on all evidence, their investigative approach, and any laboratory techniques applied. Additional responsibilities include operating and maintaining any equipment and apparatus present in their laboratory, training new personnel, and communicating with others involved with the investigation.

Skills, Knowledge and Education

Successful Forensic Science Technicians have developed expertise in several different tools and technology. These include basic software such as web browsers and Microsoft Office Suite, as well as more specialized software like Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, graphics software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop), and more. Being able to learn to use new software as needed is an essential skill. Furthermore, Forensic Science Technicians must be able to use a broad range of tools required to collect and analyze their evidence. These may include field equipment (e.g., digital and film cameras and lenses, biological evidence collection kits, thermometers, compasses, electronic measuring devices, fingerprint collection kits, footprint lifters, goggles, insect collection containers, and narcotic test kits) as well as laboratory equipment, such as centrifuges, microscopes, fingerprint recognition systems, lamps, mirrors, balances, hotplates, test tubes, mixers, scalpels, scissors, sifting equipment, lasers, magnifiers, spectrophotometers, and so much more. As with technology and software, these professionals must be able to master additional tools as they become necessary.

Forensic Science Technicians need to have a strong foundation in science, including chemistry and technology, as well as in criminal proceedings and engineering. They typically develop these skills during a four-year Bachelor’s degree, namely with a major in forensic science. 

Salary and Pay

The median salary for Forensic Science Technicians in the United States is $29.13 hourly, which comes to $60,590 annually. While there may be some variation depending on the cost of living and demand in a particular area, this figure is relatively consistent nationwide. This career is also projected to experience significant growth in the next decade, with a projected growth of 15% or more. Currently, 17,200 Forensic Science Technicians are employed across the United States, and that number is expected to rise by 2,500 in the coming ten-year period.

Below are some employment trends for Forensic Science Technicians:

  • Median Salary: $60,590 annually
  • Employment: 17,200 employees
  • Projected growth (2020-2030): Much faster than average (> 15%)
  • Projected job openings (2020-2030): 2,500
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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Gain access to your best-fit careers, occupational preferences and interests with these career based Strong Interest Inventory® Assessments:

  • Strong Interest Inventory® Interpretive Report

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  • Strong Interest Inventory Profile Test & Profile

    Strong Interest Inventory® Profile

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  • iStartStrong™ Report

    Plan your future career based on your interests and preferences, leading you down the path to a successful work and personal life.

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections