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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Pembroke Pines, Florida

Forensic investigators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Pembroke Pines, Florida area. About 1,390 people are currently employed as forensic investigators in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow 30% to about 1,820 people employed. This is better than the national trend for forensic investigators, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.6% over the next eight years. Forensic investigators generally collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations.

The income of a forensic investigator is about $20 hourly or $42,890 yearly on average in Florida. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 hourly or $49,860 yearly on average. 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 technician, lie detector operator, and forensic science manager.

The Pembroke Pines area is home to ninety-seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pembroke Pines where you can get a degree as a forensic investigator. 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 Pembroke Pines 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

Palm Beach Community College - Lake Worth, FL

Palm Beach Community College, 4200 Congress Ave, Lake Worth, FL 33461-4796. Palm Beach Community College is a large college located in Lake Worth, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,122 students. Palm Beach Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated twenty-nine and eighteen 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: Pembroke Pines, Florida

Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida photo by Dawn Ashley

Pembroke Pines is situated in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 145,661, which has grown by 6.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Pembroke Pines, 116, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pembroke Pines are valued at $117,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were built in Pembroke Pines, up from three the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pembroke Pines are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is public administration, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 28.7% of Pembroke Pines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pembroke Pines is 8.6%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Pembroke Pines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pembroke Road Baptist Church, Boulevard Chapel and Taft Street Chapel are all churches located in Pembroke Pines. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Pembroke Pines is home to the Hollywood Lakes Country Club and the Pines Bank Plaza as well as Kennedy Park and Snake Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Pembroke Pines Shopping Center, Pembroke Village Shopping Center and University Mall.