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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in San Bernardino, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for forensic investigators in the San Bernardino, California area. Currently, 1,600 people work as forensic investigators in California. This is expected to grow 44% to 2,300 people 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.

Income for forensic investigators is about $30 per hour or $63,430 per year on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $23 per hour or $49,860 per year. Incomes for forensic investigators are better than in the overall category of Life Science Technical in California, and better than the overall Life Science Technical category nationally. People working as forensic investigators can fill a number of jobs, such as: forensic services technician, ballistic expert, and crime scene examiner.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of San Bernardino where you can study to be a forensic investigator, among fifty-one schools of higher education total in the San Bernardino area. The most common level of education 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 San Bernardino 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

Loma Linda University - Loma Linda, CA

Loma Linda University, , Loma Linda, CA 92350. Loma Linda University is a small university located in Loma Linda, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,115 students. Loma Linda University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Forensic Science and Technology.

Riverside Community College - Riverside, CA

Riverside Community College, 4800 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92506. Riverside Community College is a large college located in Riverside, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 34,058 students. Riverside Community College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated twenty-six and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Bernardino Valley College - San Bernardino, CA

San Bernardino Valley College, 701 South Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92410-2798. San Bernardino Valley College is a large college located in San Bernardino, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,317 students. San Bernardino Valley College has a two to four year program in Forensic Science and Technology.

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: San Bernardino, California

San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California photo by Ie909

San Bernardino is situated in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 198,580, which has grown by 7.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Bernardino, 125, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Bernardino cost $182,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-one new homes were constructed in San Bernardino, down from one hundred fifty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Bernardino are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.6% of San Bernardino residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Bernardino is 18.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Bernardino residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Golden Avenue Church, Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are among the churches located in San Bernardino. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

San Bernardino is home to the Warm Creek Golf Course and the San Bernardino Public Golf Course as well as Plaza Park and Palm Field Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wildwood Plaza Shopping Center, Highland Avenue Plaza Shopping Center and Mountain Shadows Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Bernardino can choose from American Inn, Best Western Hospitality Lane and American Tex-Chem Corporation for temporary stays in the area.