How does one become a forensic lab technician?

Not a forensic investigator but the person in the lab who actually does the testing…DNA, fibers, bullets fragments, etc. Is there an actual degree or what?

Different specialties require different degrees. If you are interested in DNA, you need at least a general or molecular biology degree. If the abbreviation “PCR” doesn’t appear on your resume, forget it.

If you are interested in forensic chemistry, two schools I know of on the east coast with active programs are The University of New Haven, CT, and West Chester University, PA.

I’m sure you may be able to find a degree in forensic science, but you may not wind up well off, for example: the city I live in pays $32,000 per year to fingerprint specialists.

grr late for work will answer later if someone does not answer in more detail before I return.


No, no. That’s how to lose a job as a forensic lab technician.


LOL no I am not a forensic tech. I am a locksmith.
Although I did work in the state Forensic lab one day last week.

I do have a forensics degree from JSU which I have not used in 12 years.

What each lab is looking for varies.

The vast majority want someone with experience in the field or equivelent such as laboratory assistance or scientific report writing duties.
You will have to have knowledge of General Chemestry and Biology, record keeping, and checmical saftey(damn did I spell this wrong?) and of course playing well with others and how to use a computer is nice to have. Good at public speaking. Someties you will be called into court to testify.

Expect a background check and a polygraph is some areas.

Of course, you mentioned you wanted to stay in the lab.
An evidence warehouser is right up your alley. They are responsible for keeping security and records of everything that comes into the lab. You would do no lab work, yet be the keeper of the evidence. Which is a very important job and the guildlines are very tight. They do not have to have the basic science requirements but very strong in warehousing or clerical experience. the background checks still apply.

Hope that helps. Of course, your milage may very depending on location and the lab. Since I have not been the field I can only give you what I remember and gleened from my dusty old notes.