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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Oceanside, California

Forensic investigators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Oceanside, California area. There are currently 1,600 jobs for forensic investigators in California and this is projected to grow 44% to about 2,300 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.

A person working as a forensic investigator can expect to earn about $30 per hour or $63,430 annually on average in California and about $23 per hour or $49,860 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical, people working as forensic investigators in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical nationally. Jobs in this field include: crime lab technician, forensic computer examiner, and firearms examiner.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Oceanside where you can study to be a forensic investigator, among fifty-seven schools of higher education total in the Oceanside area. Given that the most common education level for forensic investigators is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Oceanside include:

  • Biological Sciences Technician. Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forensic Investigator Training

Grossmont College - El Cajon, CA

Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Dr, El Cajon, CA 92020-1799. Grossmont College is a large college located in El Cajon, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,227 students. Grossmont College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated sixty-four, fifty-one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Diego Miramar College - San Diego, CA

San Diego Miramar College, 10440 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126-2999. San Diego Miramar College is a large college located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,455 students. San Diego Miramar College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated ten, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Palomar College - San Marcos, CA

Palomar College, 1140 W. Mission, San Marcos, CA 92069-1487. Palomar College is a large college located in San Marcos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 28,093 students. Palomar College has an associate's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated four students in 2008.

National University - La Jolla, CA

National University, 11255 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037-1011. National University is a large university located in La Jolla, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,414 students. National University has a master's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated seventy-eight students 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: Oceanside, California

Oceanside, California
Oceanside, California photo by FlickreviewR

Oceanside is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 169,684, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oceanside, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Oceanside are valued at $388,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, fifty-two new homes were constructed in Oceanside, down from one hundred forty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Oceanside are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 22.2% of Oceanside residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Oceanside is 10.0%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Oceanside residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. King of Kins Lutheran Church, Temple Solel and Temple Juda are some of the churches located in Oceanside. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Oceanside is home to the Oceanside Community Center and the Oceanside-Carlsbad Country Club as well as Heritage Village Park and Libby Lake City Park. Shopping centers in the area include Fire Mountain Shopping Center, Rancho del Oro Plaza Shopping Center and Best Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Oceanside can choose from Beachwood Motel, Best Western Oceanside Inn and Best Western - Oceanside Inn for temporary stays in the area.