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Career and Education Opportunities for Forensic Investigators in Round Rock, Texas

Forensic investigators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Round Rock, Texas area. Currently, 1,290 people work as forensic investigators in Texas. This is expected to grow by 33% to 1,710 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%. In general, forensic investigators collect, identify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations.

Forensic investigators earn about $19 hourly or $40,240 annually on average in Texas and about $23 per hour or $49,860 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for forensic investigators are better than earnings in the general category of Life Science Technical in Texas and better than general Life Science Technical category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: crime scene examiner, dna analyst, and forensic analyst.

There are thirty-four schools of higher education in the Round Rock area, including one within twenty-five miles of Round Rock where you can get a degree to start your career as a forensic investigator. The most common level of education 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 Round Rock 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

Saint Edward's University - Austin, TX

Saint Edward's University, 3001 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704. Saint Edward's University is a medium sized university located in Austin, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,348 students and an admission rate of 64%. Saint Edward's University has a bachelor's degree program in Forensic Science and Technology which graduated eleven 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.

LICENSES

POLYGRAPH EXAMINER

Licensing agency: Polygraph Examiners Board
Address: PO Box 4087, Austin, TX 78773-0001

Phone: (512) 424-2058
Website: Polygraph Examiners Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock, Texas
Round Rock, Texas photo by Redsully

Round Rock is located in Williamson County, Texas. It has a population of over 104,446, which has grown by 70.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Round Rock, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Round Rock are priced at $145,400 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, three hundred twenty-four new homes were constructed in Round Rock, down from seven hundred ninety-six the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Round Rock are educational services, computer and electronic products, and health care. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 32.9% of Round Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Round Rock is 6.2%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Round Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Primera Iglesia Bautista of Round Rock Church, Round Rock Chapel Church and Round Rock Church of Christ are all churches located in Round Rock. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Round Rock is home to the Inn at Brushy Creek and the Captain Nelson Merrell House as well as Roundrock West Park and Mesa Village Park. Visitors to Round Rock can choose from Best Western Executive Inn and Austin Marriott North for temporary stays in the area.