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Forensics: Degrees and Jobs for Military & Veterans

Less School, More Pay: Start a Great Career in Forensics

Forensics is a vast and varied field that involves many kinds of workers and specialties. One thing all forensic specialists have in common is that their work is connected to the law. Some forensic specialists are directly involved in crime solving, such as collecting and analyzing evidence from a crime scene. Others may help to resolve different legal issues, such as who is at fault in an auto accident or if a piece of art is genuine or forgery.

Forensic specialists work in a variety of places including:

  • Police departments
  • Government agencies
  • Prosecutors’ offices
  • Law firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals
  • Consulting firms

Fantastic Job Opportunities with Excellent Pay

A career in forensics appeals to those from a wide variety of backgrounds. Forensic workers have a vast array of backgrounds including:

  • Life sciences
  • Art
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Social sciences

With the growing availability of certificate and degree programs in Forensics, this career field is especially appealing for those seeking to jump start a stable and profitable career.

Forensic science technicians earn a median annual wage of $61,000 according to BLS. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of employed forensic science technicians will grow by 31 percent over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities and pay increase considerably with degree levels.

Earnings of forensic specialists depend on the field in which they specialize. Earnings of forensic specialists compare to those of workers in the broader occupation. For example, earnings of forensic chemists would likely be similar to those of general chemists. Some forensic experts may hold full-time jobs in addition to their forensics-related assignments. Some forensic specialists may be self-employed, such as those who are hired for independent analysis and those hired as expert witnesses.

Examples of forensic specialties and jobs include:

Forensic Social Worker

Help to improve the lives of people involved in the legal system. Median Annual Salary: $52,000.

Forensic Science Technician

Aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. Median Annual Salary: $61,000.

Forensic Anthropologist

Specialize in human bones to help determine information such as age, height, and sex as it’s related to skeletal or other remains. Median Annual Salary: $66,000.

Forensic Accountant

Examine financial transactions related to a legal case to help identify fraudulent or illegal activity. Median Annual Salary: $74,000.

Forensic Nurse

Provide nursing care to victims and collect physical evidence from them related to these incidents. Median Annual Salary: $75,000.

Forensic Chemist

Provide chemical analyses of evidence. Median Annual Salary: $81,000.

Forensic Psychologist

Apply knowledge of human behavior and thought processes in a variety of legal investigations and proceedings. Median Annual Salary: $82,000.

Forensic Engineer

Interpret physical evidence using knowledge of engineering. Median Annual Salary: $89,000.

Forensic Pathologist

Medical doctors who perform autopsies or other investigations to help determine a cause of death. Median Annual Salary: $92,000.

Forensic Economist

Use economic theories and models to help calculate monetary awards in legal proceedings. Median Annual Salary: $108,000.

GI Bill® Approved Colleges with Forensics Programs

Ready to Embark on a Career in Forensics? Check out these great programs available at our partner schools:

Scottsdale Community College

Offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Forensic Science.

College of St. Rose

Offers a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology.

Hawaii Pacific University

Offers Forensic Science as a minor for its undergraduate degrees. Hawaii Pacific University participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

University of North Georgia

Offers a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with Forensics Concentration. University of North Georgia participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

University of West Georgia

Offers an Undergraduate Certificate in Forensic Sciences. University of West Georgia participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg

Offers several undergraduate degrees in Forensics including:

Forensics (Anthropology) BS

Forensics (Biological Sciences) BS

Forensics (Chemistry and Biochemistry) BS

Forensics (Criminal Justice) BS

University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

GI Bill Approved Online Colleges with Forensics Programs

Golden Gate University

Offers a fully online Graduate Certificate in Forensic Accounting. This program is also offered as a campus-based and hybrid program. Golden Gate University participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Post University

Offers a fully online Certificate in Forensic Accounting. This program is also offered on campus. Post University participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Southern New Hampshire University

Offers a fully online Certificate in Forensic Accounting. Southern New Hampshire participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

 

*All statistics and calculations from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information click here.

 

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About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.