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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Glendale, Arizona

Forensic investigator career and educational opportunities abound in Glendale, Arizona. There are currently 460 jobs for forensic investigators in Arizona and this is projected to grow by 28% to about 590 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for forensic investigators are expected to grow by about 19.6%. Forensic investigators generally collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations.

A person working as a forensic investigator can expect to earn about $24 per hour or $50,480 annually on average in Arizona and about $23 per hour or $49,860 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for forensic investigators are better than earnings in the general category of Life Science Technical in Arizona and better than general Life Science Technical category earnings nationally. Forensic investigators work in a variety of jobs, including: crime scene investigator, latent fingerprint examiner, and keeler polygraph operator.

The Glendale area is home to seventy-four schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Glendale where you can get a degree as a forensic investigator. Given that the most common education level for forensic investigators is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a forensic investigator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forensic Investigator

Forensic Investigator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, forensic investigators collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. They also perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation.

Forensic investigators keep records and ready reports detailing findings and laboratory techniques. They also testify in court about investigative and analytical methods and findings. Equally important, forensic investigators have to take photographs of evidence. They are often called upon to operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus. Finally, forensic investigators talk with ballistics or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.

Every day, forensic investigators are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they solve different sorts of problems in different ways depending upon circumstances.

It is important for forensic investigators to visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or data to be used in investigations. They are often called upon to collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity. They also use chemicals and other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases. They are sometimes expected to ready solutions and sample formulations needed for laboratory work. Somewhat less frequently, forensic investigators are also expected to testify in court about investigative and analytical methods and findings.

Forensic investigators sometimes are asked to identify and quantify drugs and poisons found in biological fluids and tissues and at crime scenes. They also have to be able to examine physical evidence such as hair, fiber, wood or soil residues to obtain data related to its source and composition and decide on types of bullets used in shooting and if fired from a specific weapon. And finally, they sometimes have to train new technicians and other personnel on forensic science techniques.

Like many other jobs, forensic investigators must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Glendale include:

  • Agricultural Technician. Set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens and record data to assist scientist in biology or related science experiments.
  • Environmental Technician. Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Forestry and Wildlife Manager. Compile data pertaining to size, content, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under direction of foresters; train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats, and help provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forensic Investigator Training

Mesa Community College - Mesa, AZ

Mesa Community College, 1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202. Mesa Community College is a large college located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,825 students. Mesa Community College has a less than one year program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated ten students in 2008.

Scottsdale Community College - Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Scottsdale Community College is a large college located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,077 students. Scottsdale Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated nine and two students respectively in 2008.

Phoenix College - Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Phoenix College is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,917 students. Phoenix College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated seventy-five and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Cyber-Crime Expert: High-profile cases of corporate malfeasance and increased attention paid to cybercrime and cyberterrorism have elevated electronic evidence discovery to an indispensable component of any organization's security plan.

For more information, see the E-Business Process Solutions website.

Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator: Computer hacking forensic investigation is the process of detecting hacking attacks and properly extracting evidence to report the crime and conduct audits to prevent future attacks.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Licensed Penetration Tester: The licensed penetration tester is a program which trains security professionals to analyze the security posture of a network exhaustively and recommend corrective measures authoritatively.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Certified Forensic Video Technician: Forensic video analysis is an important science that can have a significant impact on the investigation process.

For more information, see the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Glendale, Arizona

Glendale, Arizona
Glendale, Arizona photo by Flickr_upload_bot

Glendale is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 251,522, which has grown by 14.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Glendale, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Glendale are priced at $278,800 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seventy-eight new homes were built in Glendale, down from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Glendale are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, public administration, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 21.0% of Glendale residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Glendale is 8.9%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Glendale residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Glendale is home to the Southwest Poultry Experiment Station and the Maryvale Substation as well as Thunderbird Park and Bicentennial Park. Shopping malls in the area include Glen Fairs Shopping Center, Glendale Plaza Shopping Center and Glendale Shopping Center. Visitors to Glendale can choose from Best Western Inn Phoenix Glen, AriTime Personal Services and Four Seasons Flowers & Gifts for temporary stays in the area.