Forensic Biology is the umbrella term for the biology involved in crime scene investigation. It entails a little bit of everything – from histology and microbiology, to entomology and botany. A forensic biologist is one who examines just about every biological trace of evidence in the crime lab. He or she must analyze bodily fluids, bones, insects, and plant remains, among other things, in an effort to determine the time and cause of the victim’s death, as well as any information that may lead the authorities to the culprit.
Forensic biology is a serious matter, and requires a lot of education. For starters, a Bachelor’s degree in biology, molecular biology, forensic biology, or biochemistry is necessary. A Master’s degree in biology or a related subject is needed. Extensive experience in biostatistics, genetics, and laboratory work is preferred by many employers.
An internship with any reputable laboratory is quite helpful in the job hunt, as is accreditation from a recognized association.
Forensic biologists also must possess inherent skills such as patience and a keen eye for detail to succeed in this profession. An area of expertise as broad as forensic biology demands an excellent work ethic. Since forensic biologists produce and keep records of an enormous amount of data, sound organizational skills are a definite must.
Forensic biologists can make anywhere between $27,000 to $53,000 annually.
Because forensic biologists have expertise needed for many forensic investigations, the demand for their services will never dwindle. They are an integral part of many investigations, and therefore enjoy job security.
Job opportunities are more plentiful for forensic biologists with the most experience.