Forensic chemists will often collect the samples – their training has taught them exactly how to handle unknown substances safely. Upon bringing the samples to the crime lab, they run a series of tests to determine their chemical makeup. Their findings will then be relayed to the investigators and may even be used as evidence in a court of law. Forensic chemists may be asked to testify in court.
A Bachelor’s degree in chemistry is required of anyone looking to be a forensic chemist. In addition, one can opt to attain a Master’s degree in forensic chemistry to better his or her job opportunities. Just make sure that the program you take has American Academy of Forensic Science accreditation.
Because new breakthroughs are constantly being discovered in the field of chemistry, it’s important that forensic chemists stay up-to-date on the latest information. A career as a forensic chemist is one of constant education on topics from chemical engineering to the development of new analytical technology.
Forensic chemists report an average yearly salary of $27,000 to $52,000. This number, however, is highly dependent on qualifications, area and experience.
Forensic chemists enjoy excellent job stability in a very dynamic field. As science continues to make discovery after discovery, forensic chemists will enjoy an ever-changing landscape to which they must adapt. Since they’re better equipped to address these developments than other investigators, forensic chemists will certainly be needed in just about every crime laboratory.