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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Tallahassee, Florida

Forensic investigators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Tallahassee, Florida area. There are currently 1,390 working forensic investigators in Florida; this should grow by 30% to about 1,820 working forensic investigators in the state 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 $20 hourly or $42,890 annually on average in Florida and about $23 per hour or $49,860 per year on average nationally. 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. People working as forensic investigators can fill a number of jobs, such as: ballistic technician, fingerprint expert, and forensic computer examiner.

The Tallahassee area is home to nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Tallahassee where you can get a degree as a forensic investigator. Given that the most common education level for forensic investigators is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn 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 Tallahassee 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

Tallahassee Community College - Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee Community College, 444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32304-2895. Tallahassee Community College is a large college located in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,048 students. Tallahassee Community College has a less than one year program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated two 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: Tallahassee, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida photo by Diligent Terrier

Tallahassee is located in Leon County, Florida. It has a population of over 171,922, which has grown by 14.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tallahassee, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tallahassee are priced at $166,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred new homes were built in Tallahassee, down from six hundred thirty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tallahassee are educational services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 45.0% of Tallahassee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tallahassee is 7.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tallahassee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Foursquare Church, Advent Episcopal Church and Aftermath Church are among the churches located in Tallahassee. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Tallahassee is home to the Miracle Plaza and the Tallahassee Community College Library as well as Old Fort Park and Alfred B Maclay Gardens State Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northwood Mall, Parkway Shopping Center and Tallahassee Mall. Visitors to Tallahassee can choose from Cactus Motel, Best Western Pride Inn Suites and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.