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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for forensic investigators. Currently, 1,390 people work as forensic investigators in Florida. This is expected to grow 30% to 1,820 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%. Forensic investigators generally collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations.

Forensic investigators earn approximately $20 hourly or $42,890 annually on average in Florida. Nationally they average about $23 hourly or $49,860 yearly. Forensic investigators earn more than people working in the category of Life Science Technical generally in Florida and more than people in the Life Science Technical category nationally. Forensic investigators work in a variety of jobs, including: forensic document examiner, latent print examiner, and latent fingerprint examiner.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cape Coral where you can study to be a forensic investigator, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Cape Coral 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

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 Cape Coral 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.
  • 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

Edison State College - Fort Myers, FL

Edison State College, 8099 College Pky SW, Fort Myers, FL 33919-0000. Edison State College is a large college located in Fort Myers, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 13,252 students. Edison State College has an associate's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated nine 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: Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida photo by Boticario

Cape Coral is situated in Lee County, Florida. It has a population of over 156,835, which has grown by 53.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cape Coral, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cape Coral are valued at $121,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Cape Coral, down from seven hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cape Coral are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 17.5% of Cape Coral residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cape Coral is 13.0%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Cape Coral residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 38.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Coral Ridge Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Jehovahs Witnesses Cape Coral Congregation and Cape Coral Alliance Church are some of the churches located in Cape Coral. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God.

Cape Coral is home to the Old Bridge Square and the Pine Island Plaza. Shopping centers in the area include Northshore Shopping Center, Coral Gate Shopping Center and Coral Pointe Shopping Center. Visitors to Cape Coral can choose from Casa Loma Motel On the Waterfront, Cape Coral Accommodations and Banyan Trace Community for temporary stays in the area.