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Forensic trainee jobs typically fall within three major areas of forensic science: biology, chemistry, and toxicology. Each discipline specializes in the analysis of certain types of evidence collected from a crime scene. Government or private laboratories might offer forensic trainee jobs or internships to university graduates to help them gain experience in the field.
Biology forensic trainee jobs typically involve testing evidence from violent crime, including murder and rape. Interns working in this specialty might analyze body fluids, such as blood, semen, and saliva, for DNA to identify a suspect or a victim of crime. These forensic trainee jobs might also teach interns to examine fibers from clothing or carpeting, and hair samples.
Forensic trainee jobs that focus on chemistry might include analyzing evidence from property crimes. Duties typically consist of accident reconstruction, which might deal with analyzing paint transfer and glass breakage. Arson investigation usually falls into the chemical specialty, with scientists looking for accelerants or explosives. Firearm analysis and fingerprint analysis represent additional tasks performed in a forensic science lab.
Toxicology forensic trainee jobs deal with legal or illegal drugs and poisons. Interns might assist with testing blood or urine in drunken driving cases. They might also look for drug use by a suspect or victim of a crime through laboratory analysis, including when an overdose is suspected. Toxicology might also identify poisonous substances related to illegal activity.
Some university graduates seek forensic trainee jobs in hospital laboratories to gain experience. They might also find work as police department evidence technicians, where they learn how to preserve evidence found at crime scenes. Evidence technician jobs might require fewer educational courses, allowing students to serve internships while attending school.
Forensic scientists need analytical minds free from bias when examining evidence. They also require patience to perform tedious testing that may or may not reveal results. These professionals often testify in court about lab results and should be able to explain complex scientific processes in simple language.
Several subspecialties might be available for forensic trainee candidates. A student might work with shoe or tire impressions left at a crime scene. Computer crime analysis has become a popular area of forensic science for interns with technology backgrounds. Forensic dentistry represents another specialty for students interested in medicine.