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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Cleveland, Ohio

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for forensic investigators in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The national trend for forensic investigators 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.

A person working as a forensic investigator can expect to earn about $20 per hour or $42,960 yearly on average in Ohio and about $23 hourly or $49,860 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for forensic investigators are better than in the overall category of Life Science Technical in Ohio, and better than the overall Life Science Technical category nationally. Forensic investigators work in a variety of jobs, including: detective-crime scene investigations, ballistician, and forensic engineer.

The Cleveland area is home to 103 schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Cleveland where you can get a degree as a forensic investigator. Forensic investigators usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Cleveland 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

University of Akron Main Campus - Akron, OH

University of Akron Main Campus, 302 Buchtel Common, Akron, OH 44325-4702. University of Akron Main Campus is a large university located in Akron, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 24,202 students. University of Akron Main Campus has a less than one year program in Forensic Science and Technology.

Carnegie Institute of Integrative Medicine and Massotherapy - Suffield, OH

Carnegie Institute of Integrative Medicine and Massotherapy, 1292 Waterloo Rd, Suffield, OH 44260. Carnegie Institute of Integrative Medicine and Massotherapy is a small school located in Suffield, Ohio. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 268 students. Carnegie Institute of Integrative Medicine and Massotherapy has a one to two year program in Forensic Science and Technology.

Lakeland Community College - Kirtland, OH

Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Dr, Kirtland, OH 44094-5198. Lakeland Community College is a medium sized college located in Kirtland, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,924 students. Lakeland Community College has an associate's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated two students in 2008.


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.


Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio photo by FlickreviewR

Cleveland is situated in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. It has a population of over 433,748, which has shrunk by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cleveland, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cleveland are valued at $94,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred nine new homes were built in Cleveland, down from one hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cleveland are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 11.4% of Cleveland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cleveland is 10.5%, which is greater than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Cleveland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Abyssinia Baptist Church and Highland Christian Church are among the churches located in Cleveland. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Cleveland is home to the Mastick Woods Golf Course and the Dock Number 32 as well as Shaker Square Historic District and Newton Avenue Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Shaker-Moreland Shopping Center, Shaker Square Shopping Center and Clark West 30th Shopping Center. Visitors to Cleveland can choose from Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Gateway, Airport Sheraton and Extended Stayamerica for temporary stays in the area.