Forensic Expert Career

Introduction

We often watch criminal movies and make our own assumptions about the crime scene and the suspects. It’s fascinating to see how Forensic Experts analyse evidence and solve cases in real life by applying scientific methods, techniques, and critical thinking skills to piece together the facts objectively.

Unlike the drama created in movies, real Forensic Experts need to precisely collect, preserve, and interpret physical evidence without bias or preconceptions. So, if you are the one who enjoys solving puzzles and contributing to society, a career as a Forensic Expert is just the right career path for you.

Who is a Forensic Expert?

A forensic expert is a professional who analyses evidence from crime scenes to help solve legal cases. Their job is to examine things like fingerprints, DNA, firearms, and other physical clues to determine what happened at the crime scenes. 

Their work also involves analysing lab samples, writing reports, and potentially providing expert testimony. The work may vary depending upon their specialisation and job profile. 

Types of Forensic Expert

types of a forensic expert

The type of Forensic Expert depends upon the specialisation opted for and the nature of the evidence being analysed.

Some of the most popular types of Forensic Expert include Criminologist Expert, Pathology Expert, Blood Splatter Expert, DNA Experts, Digital Forensic Expert, Toxicologists Expert who specialises in drugs and poisons, Anthropologist Expert who analyses human remains, etc.

Career Scope as Forensic Expert

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The scope for Forensic Experts in India has increased due to an increase in the crime rates. The police force needs specialised persons to help them in solving complex criminal cases. The majority of the positions for Forensic Experts are located in prison cells.

Freelance work also offers many benefits for those pursuing a career as a Forensic Expert. However, the private sector market for Forensic Experts has limited opportunities.

Role & Responsibilities of Forensic Expert

The primary responsibility of Forensic Experts is to gather evidence from the crime scene and investigate it. They are responsible for ensuring that all the evidence collected is tested in the lab correctly and ethically.

Some of the other responsibilities include:

  • Run lab tests on the evidence collected to ensure that they are relevant
  • Verification of the lab test
  • Report creation based on the results of the lab test
  • Perform blood tests to verify if there are any traces of illegal drugs or toxins
  • Work in co-ordination with the police force and provide them the necessary inputs to solve the crime case
  • Click the photographs of the crime scene and collect the evidence before they are tampered.
  • Testify in the court to support the case or defend the victim
  • Record the information of the culprit and victim in specialised software for future reference while solving the case.

Employment Scope Career Options for Forensic Experts

Forensic Experts can work in various settings, from government crime labs to private consulting roles with their scientific expertise and investigative skills. 

They can work as Forensic Psychologist, Customs Agent, Forensic Scientist, Drug Analysts, Forensic Pathologist, Fingerprint Expert, Forensic Photographer, or Crime Scene Investigator based on their interests and specialisation.

Some of the top recruiters for Forensic Experts in India include the Intelligence Bureau (IB), law firms, police force departments, private detective agencies, CBI, defence or army, central government forensic science labs, etc.

Forensic Experts can also work for global agencies such as DataExpert, 4N6, INsig2, Ondata International, RedShift, etc.

Salary Range

Forensic Experts’ salaries vary based on experience, employer, location, and designation. In India, they can earn a starting salary of 3 to 5 lacs per annum. Experienced Foreign Experts in metropolitan cities with certification and specialisations can earn higher packages of 10 to 12 lacs per annum.   

Eligibility Criteria

The minimum criteria for applying for an undergraduate Foreign Expert course is passing the 12th grade. Candidates can even pursue an online certification course. 

Below listed are the eligibility criteria at the various levels of education:

Course Levels

Eligibility Criteria

UG

•   Passed Class 12 in the Science Stream (PCB/M)

•   Candidate must achieved a minimum of 50% in Class 10 and 12.

PG

•   Candidates should have completed a BSc in Forensic Science or any other relevant UG degree.

•   A minimum of 55% at the undergraduate level is mandatory.

Diploma/Certification

•   Candidates must have completed Class 12 in the Science stream (PCB/M)

•   Candidates must have achieved a minimum of 50% in class 10 and 12.

PG Diploma

•   Candidates should have completed a BSc in Forensic Science or any other relevant UG degree.

•   Candidates should have achieved a minimum 50% aggregate score.

Steps to Become a Forensic Expert In India

Formal education is essential to become a Forensic Expert in India. There are also many online and diploma courses available in which candidates can enrol and gain the necessary knowledge and skill.

Candidates can follow the below steps to become a Forensic Expert in India:

  • Seek admission in university: Seeking admission in a Forensic Science course at university after grade 12 is the first step towards becoming a Forensic Expert. There are many colleges available in each state in India that offer forensic science courses. To seek admission, candidates may need to pass the entrance exam or meet the eligibility criteria set by the specific university.
  • Pursue Certification or Specialisation courses: Certification and specialisation are critical to enhancing your eligibility and qualification. The specialisation enables the candidates to gain additional knowledge and upgrade their skills in their chosen area of expertise.
  • Internship: Candidates can do an internship of 3 to 6 months to gain practical work experience and enhance their technical skills. Internships can be completed during the undergraduate program or after the completion of the diploma course.
  • Pursue Master’s degree: Candidates can pursue further studies and complete post-graduation in the Forensic Science field. Holding a Master’s degree can further enhance your skill and chances of employment in top organisations.
  • Build a Portfolio: The next step is to build your portfolio. Candidates can showcase their successful cases, skills, and reports to set themselves apart from other aspirants. Creating a strong portfolio is important especially while applying to top organisations such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
  • Begin your career: Candidates can begin their career after completing their formal education, enhancing their skills, and gaining relevant experience through an internship.

Skills Required to Become a Forensic Expert

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Critical thinking and analytical skills are the two most important skills for becoming a Forensic Expert. Critical thinking is required to analyse evidence without bias and draw sound conclusions, while strong analytical abilities are needed to interpret data correctly and solve complex cases.

Apart from these two, some other required skills are good communication and interpersonal skills, legal knowledge, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, good reasoning and evaluation skills, technical skills, and the ability to give confident judgment.

Entrance Exam for Forensic Science Course

There are numerous entrance exams conducted before applying for the Forensic Science course after passing class 12. The entrance exams depend upon the state and universities in which candidates plan to apply.

Common entrance exams for a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science include:

  • All India Forensic Science Entrance Test (AIFSET)
  • Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM – GAT), Visakhapatnam – Andhra Pradesh
  • National Institute Of Science Education and Research (NEST)
  • CG PET Chandigarh Examination Board
  • OUAT State Entrance Exam conducted in Orissa
  • BHU entrance exam, ie. The Banaras Hindu University
  • JEE Main and Advanced
  • BITSAT
  • GSAT, etc.

 

Common entrance exams for Master’s degrees include:

  • CUET PG
  • GATE, etc.

Please note that the entrance exams can differ based on the university, country, and specific program requirements.

Foreign Expert Courses

Forensic Science courses are available at different academic levels and contain a wide range of subjects within the field. Several online courses are also available for candidates who wish to complete a short-term course.

Below listed are some Forensic Science degree courses options candidates can explore:

  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • PG Diploma in Forensic Science
  • PhD in Forensic Science
  • MPhil in Forensic Science, etc.

 

Online Courses:

  • Certified Professional Forensics Analyst (CPFA) Training
  • Advance Certificate in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examiner
  • GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst, etc.

 

 

Subjects and Syllabus

Forensic Science subjects don’t only contain theoretical knowledge. Practical knowledge and experience are equally important. Hence, the majority of the subjects have lab practices so that candidates can gain the necessary practical skills.

Some of the topics covered in the Forensic Science syllabus include:

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Criminology & Criminal Behaviour
  • Law Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Crime & Socio-Cultural & Psychological Factors
  • Blood Analysis, Blood Pattern Analysis, Benzidine Test,
  • Grouping, Behavioural Sciences
  • Introduction to Toxicology
  • Law to Combat Crime
  • Forensic Dermatoglyphics
  • Anthropology
  • Computer Science
  • Forensic Ballistics
  • Forensic Science and Society, etc.

Top Institutions for Forensic Expert

India has over 200 Forensic Science colleges, with 150 being private and 59 being government institutions.

The field of Forensic Science is vast. So, candidates need to carefully select the institute that provides the specialisation that interests them. Candidates also need to take into consideration the infrastructure, teaching faculty, industry connections, and research opportunities before taking admission into a particular institute.

Some of the top institutions that offer Forensic Science courses include:

  • National Forensic Science University, Gandhinagar – Gujarat
  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune & Kharagpur, West Bengal
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai
  • Institute of Forensic Science, Mumbai
  • Sandip University, Nashik
  • Kasturba Gandhi Medical College, Manipal
  • Pondicherry University
  • Parul University, etc.

 

Fees for Forensic Science Course

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The fees for a Forensic Science course depend upon the university, location, and whether you are pursuing a full-time degree, diploma, or a short-term online certification course. The fees in government colleges are usually lower than that of private institutions.

The fees for government colleges in India usually range between 1.5 to 2 lacs for a 3-year undergraduate course, while the same can cost you around 6 lacs in private institutions. Similarly, for a 2-year postgraduate course in government colleges can cost you around 1.5 to 2 lacs and around 4 lacs in private colleges.

Conclusion

A career as a forensic expert is both challenging and rewarding. These professionals play a crucial role in solving crimes and achieving justice.

Forensic Experts often work in highly challenging environments. However, they have the opportunity to make a positive impact on society. They can help bring clarity to complex cases and ensure that the truth is uncovered by objectively examining evidence and presenting findings in court. 

 

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