Average Salary for Forensic Science Technicians

Are you interested in going to school to be a forensic science technician? The salary you’ll command in this industry depends on a number of factors, including location, experience, industry, education level, and employer type. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to earn working in this field.

Base Salary for a Forensic Science Technician

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic science technicians make an average of $55,040, with the top 10 percent in this field making over $82,990. This takes into account forensic science technicians who live all over the country, though in general you can expect to make $40,000 to $67,000 in this year. You’ll make more money as you gain experience as a forensic science technician, and most employers will pay higher salaries to workers who go back to school for a masters degree. If you have a rare specialty, you can also make more money as a forensic science technician. Before starting your education, do a little research to see what kind of techs are in high demand in the forensic science world.

Forensic Science Technician by Location

Location plays a significant role in determining what you get paid as a forensic science technician. The following states have the highest average salaries for this type of career:

  • Illinois: $72,990
  • Virginia:$69,860
  • California: $67,720
  • Connecticut: $67,570
  • Michigan: $63,440

Since crime rates are typically much higher in cities, forensic science technicians are in higher demand in metropolitan areas than in more rural parts of the country. According to reports, the following cities have the highest average salary for this field:

  • Washington, DC: $85,390
  • Oakland, CA: $76,500
  • Santa Ana/Anaheim, CA: $74,960
  • San Jose, CA: $74,070
  • Springfield, IL: $71,040

Cost of living is higher in cities as well, but in this industry, it is much, much harder to find a job in a rural area, as the crime rate isn’t high enough to support a large number of people working as forensic science technicians.

Other Factors Affecting Salary

Getting your masters degree is a great way to earn more money in this field, as is earning certification in your specialty (if possible) and working for a large employer. You can also focus on becoming an expect in your specific area of forensics and work as a consultant, traveling to help lots of different forensics teams on cases that involve your topic of choice.

Guide to Forensic Science Degree Programs

While there are a limited number of programs focused specifically on forensic science, many schools offer related programs that can be applied to positions in that field. Subjects can include forensic psychology, general criminal justice programs, and computer forensics - the latter being an increasingly more important field with each day. Find highly-rated online forensic science and criminal justice degrees below or search for other degrees using the widget to the left.

Kaplan University : The BS in Forensic Psychology Program at Kaplan University features general education/criminal justice requirements that deliver an overview of material on critical thinking, technology, communications, and criminological theory. The Forensic Psychology portion of the degree covers the uses of psychology in law enforcement and crisis intervention techniques. Kaplan also offers an online program for a BS in Crime Scene Investigation degree.
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Liberty University : Liberty University has two (2) accredited, online degrees in the field of Forensic Science added to their course catalog. The bachelor program in Crime Scene Investigation explores the investigative process of the justice system, and students enter the workforce with knowledge, skills, and resources they can apply to real-world issues and situations upon graduation.
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Saint Joseph’s University : The MSCJ in Intelligence and Crime Analysis from Saint Joseph’s University opens doors to the exciting world of investigative law enforcement. Focusing on the science and theory of crime scene investigation, the program offers courses in criminalistics, fingerprints, crime scene photography, technology crimes, and evidence. Graduates work in forensic laboratories, medical offices, or hospitals.
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American InterContinental University : AIU's online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science program educates students in a variety of topics, including the criminal justice system, juvenile justice process, criminology, law enforcement, law adjudication, and corrections. Concentrations are available in crime documentation and evidence handling.
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