We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Fingerprint Technician Do?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A fingerprint technician handles record-keeping related to fingerprints for a government agency or private firm that uses biometric systems. This can include taking fingerprints, updating records, and assessing the quality of prints to determine if they can be used for valid identification. Some training may be available on the job, and some technical schools and colleges offer basic education in the subject, which may lead to a certification people can use in job applications. Professional organizations are also available, offering credentials a fingerprint technician can use in employment and to establish credibility on the witness stand.

Part of this job can involve taking fingerprints and training other personnel so they can collect accurate and usable fingerprint information. This includes the use of electronic fingerprinting equipment as well as inked cards in some locations. The training involves proper handling to make sure the prints are crisp, clear, and usable, including a check to confirm that the prints are acceptable before concluding the session.

Fingerprint technicians also look at fingerprints to classify them, compare them with records, and determine if they can be used to generate a match. Electronic matching equipment is available and can be used to compare against large databases automatically, but manual matching is sometimes necessary. A fingerprint technician can also verify results returned by a computer by comparing the samples to confirm their accuracy. Technicians can sort and file incoming fingerprint data, update records in the computer associated with prints, and teach people how to use the system appropriately.

Another aspect of the work can include records digitization. Facilities with old records on paper or microfilm may need to convert them to digital files for reference. This is a painstaking process, because the fingerprint technician needs to scan the old record, confirm the scan is of good quality, create a file, and verify it. With clean samples and good equipment, this can be a relatively fast procedure, but at other times, substantial work may be required.

Typically there are several classifications of fingerprint technician, based on experience and training. As people develop more skills, they can rise up in the ranks within an organization. Promotions may result in higher pay and better benefits, including more vacation time. When transferring between organizations, it can be advisable to find out if a rank will transfer, or if a technician will be bumped back to a lower grade because of differing classification systems used by different agencies.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.