Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Phoenix, Arizona
Forensic investigators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Phoenix, Arizona area. There are currently 460 jobs for forensic investigators in Arizona and this is projected to grow by 28% to 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%. In general, forensic investigators collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations.
Forensic investigators earn about $24 per hour or $50,480 per year on average in Arizona and about $23 hourly or $49,860 annually on average nationally. 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. Jobs in this field include: criminalist, latent fingerprint examiner, and crime lab technician.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Phoenix where you can study to be a forensic investigator, among seventy-six schools of higher education total in the Phoenix area. The most common level of education for forensic investigators is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a forensic investigator if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forensic Investigator
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 Phoenix 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.
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: Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.
The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.