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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

If you want to be a forensic investigator, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About eighty people are currently employed as forensic investigators in Louisiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow 39% to about 120 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. In general, forensic investigators collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations.

Forensic investigators earn approximately $27 hourly or $56,350 annually on average in Louisiana. Nationally they average about $23 per hour or $49,860 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical, people working as forensic investigators in Louisiana earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Life Science Technical nationally. Jobs in this field include: detective, ballistician, and forensic engineer.

There are thirty-six schools of higher education in the Baton Rouge area, including one within twenty-five miles of Baton Rouge where you can get a degree to start your career as a forensic investigator. 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 Baton Rouge include:

  • Agricultural Technician. Set up and maintain laboratory equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. Prepare specimens and record data to assist scientist in biology or related science experiments.
  • 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.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • 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

Our Lady of the Lake College - Baton Rouge, LA

Our Lady of the Lake College, 7434 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4380. Our Lady of the Lake College is a small college located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,804 students and an admission rate of 82%. Our Lady of the Lake College has a bachelor's degree 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.

LICENSES

Polygraph Examiner

Licensing agency: Office of the Governor
Address: 16286 Winding Ridge Drive, Prairieville, LA 70769-3446

Phone: (225) 744-3531
Website: Office of the Governor

LOCATION INFORMATION: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana photo by Anrie

Baton Rouge is situated in East Baton Rouge Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 223,689, which has shrunk by 1.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Baton Rouge, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Baton Rouge are priced at $189,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Baton Rouge, down from two hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Baton Rouge are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 31.7% of Baton Rouge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Baton Rouge is 7.1%, which is the same as Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Baton Rouge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hughes United Methodist Church and Straight Life Baptist Church are all churches located in Baton Rouge. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Baton Rouge is home to the Baton Rouge Industrial Park and the Baton Rouge Country Club as well as Howell Park and Independence Park. Shopping centers in the area include Carriage Alley Shopping Center, Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center and Foret and McCall Shopping Center. Visitors to Baton Rouge can choose from Pines Motel, Motel 6 and Shoneys Inn & Suites Baton Rouge for temporary stays in the area.