If you would like to become an evidence technician, it can be a good idea to earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice first. After graduation, you can look for a job in law enforcement to get on-the-job training in this career field. Some of the things you may want to be proficient in could include gathering evidence, fingerprinting, and preparing reports. You should also be familiar with the local rules of evidence used by your court system. By doing so, you can make sure to comply with these laws whenever you collect and preserve evidence.
Most evidence technician duties are clerical in nature; however, some law enforcement training is typically preferred. For this reason, you may want to consider a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or homeland security to gain knowledge of this career field. Some of the classes that might be helpful once you become an evidence technician could include crime scene investigation and photography, as well as training in software programs such as those that identify fingerprints.
Finding employment as a police records clerk could help you gain the clerical experience you might need to become an evidence technician. By working in this capacity, you can receive on-the-job training in various types of police software and learn good record-keeping skills. This could also help you make contacts within the department, so hiring officials will be familiar with your work should you decide to apply for an evidence technician job later.
Many evidence technician duties require proper tagging and marking of evidence as well as following chain of custody guidelines. This can be crucial because evidence that has been mishandled may become inadmissible in a court of law. Your supervisor may not give you instructions on the laws that govern evidence in the courtroom, but this information is normally available to the public. It can be a good idea to visit a law library or download these rules on the Internet for study. Doing so might help you become an evidence technician and give you an edge over other applicants, because you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge of these laws during the interview process.
The number of evidence technician jobs at a given law enforcement agency is often limited. This might mean you could wait several months for an opening to become available. While you are waiting for an opening, it can be a good idea to keep your skills fresh and remain up-to-date with any changes to evidence laws. This can help you be prepared to perform this type of work should you be hired as an evidence technician.