Evidence technician jobs involve the acquisition, collection, and preservation of evidence from crime scenes. There are various sub-specialties in this field, which include photography, fingerprinting, handwriting, and ballistics. Each of these may require specific training and licensing.
The primary job of any evidence technician is to find, collect, or decipher evidence. There are various levels one may aspire to work up to in this field. Specialists may be called in to take photos of the evidence, collect it using specialized protocol, decipher what certain form so evidence may mean, and test substances for clues. Each of these evidence technician jobs generally requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree followed by continued education in the chosen specialty.
Those who collect evidence may study criminal justice or forensic science, and are required to work with police in finding and storing evidence. This could include everything from clothing, wallets, jewelry, weapons, blood, and hair. There are exact and precise ways in which to do this, as evidence must be stored without contaminating it or harming it.
Other evidence technician jobs can include evidence photographers and handwriting specialists. Photographers are responsible for taking pictures of a crime scene so that police investigators can go back and see it just the way it was when found. This may include close-up shots of important details and evidence. Handwriting specialists are trained professionals who are able to decipher even small differences in handwriting, and are used primarily for detecting forgeries.
Fingerprinting specialists and scientists are also forms of evidence technician jobs. Some technicians may collect fingerprints from the actual crime scene, while others are trained to use specialized software to match prints with those in the police database. Forensic scientists help to analyze evidence, test for blood and other important substances, and even compare fibers and other materials under microscopes to determine the specific type of clothing, weapons, or hair a criminal may have had at the time a crime was committed.
Evidence technician jobs usually require a degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or a related field of study. Those who work at the crime scene gathering evidence may only need a two year degree, while scientists generally require a masters or doctorate in forensic science or similar major. The amount of work available for those studying evidence and related jobs varies based on location. Large cities generally have more work available than smaller towns.