To become a forensic technician, you may do well to start by earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in forensic science. If the school you choose does not offer this subject as a major, you can choose biology, chemistry, or another science instead. If you have graduated from high school but do not intend to earn a degree, you might also find some employers who will hire you after you have gained extensive experience working in labs. Participating in internships and developing your organizational and analytical skills may also prove helpful as you prepare to become a forensic technician.
You will typically need a college education if you want to become a forensic technician. If your college offers an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in forensic science, this will typically prove a good choice for you. If it does not offer such a degree, you may instead choose chemistry, biology, or another science major. Some employers may even hire you with a non-science degree as long as you have successfully completed a significant number of credits in science or math courses.
While you are in college, you can do more than study to prepare to become a forensic technician. You could, for example, choose to take advantage of opportunities that allow you to gain experience in a forensic lab. For instance, you may find an internship or other work opportunity that allows you to gain this type of experience. While such work experience isn't mandatory, it may go a long way to helping you prepare for this job.
Though many employers may state a preference for hiring individuals with college degrees, you may still have the chance to become a forensic technician with a high school diploma or an equivalent credential. Usually, however, companies that are willing to hire you for this job without a college degree will want you to have a significant amount of experience. For instance, you may have a better chance of getting hired for this position without a college degree if you have four or five years of experience under your belt.
There are many skills and abilities you'll need when you want to become a forensic scientist. Among them are analytic and problem-solving abilities as well as research and laboratory skills. For this job, you may also need the ability to work independently and be able to communicate effectively. This may prove particularly important when it comes to preparing reports and consulting with those who need the results of the tests you run, such as criminal investigators.