As law enforcement works to solve tough crimes, their forensic department uses scientific methods to analyse DNA collections and identify victims and their offenders. Forensic biology is just one of many departments of forensic sciences. If you are interested in a career in forensics, then the biology element may be a good place to start.
What is forensic biology?
Forensic biology is the application of biological testing to law enforcement agencies. Indeed, the biggest advancement in forensics was the introduction of DNA analysis. Anything that comes into contact with a person will leave traces of DNA. Furthermore, a forensic biologist’s job is to analyze traces of DNA in order to collect evidence for a police investigation. Biologists can find DNA on surfaces, clothing, and items. For example, elements of where biologists find DNA include:
- Bodily fluids
How to Become a Forensic Biologist
Most forensic biologists graduate from a four-year college with a degree in forensic biology. Further, many students work within a biology major, with core classes including mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Likewise, students take elective classes in law enforcement and criminal justice. Students may also decide to continue their higher education to attend master’s and doctorate degree programs.
As a crucial part of an investigation team, you will work closely with crime victims and their families. This job can be a taxing occupation for some, but it can also be a very rewarding career. There is generally a lengthy recruitment method, and training may be a requirement after the initial hiring process. After graduation from a degree program, an internship with an investigation team will help you obtain career opportunities.
Careers in Forensic Biology
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensics biologists make an average salary of just over $59,000 per year. In fact, experts expect the employment rate for this field to increase by about 14% within the next ten years. As a forensic biologist, you will likely work for a forensics department of a law enforcement agency. However, these professionals are able to narrow down their specialties. This is especially true if students graduate from a master’s or doctorate degree program. There are several specialties in forensic biology. For example, specialties include:
- Forensic pathology
- DNA analysis
- Forensic anthropology
- Forensic entomology
- Biological chemistry
- Forensic botany
Forensic biologists perform their duties in harsh working conditions. These professionals may come into contact with bodily fluids, diseased victims, and other severe elements. However, forensic professionals can feel rewarded by finding the right evidence to solve a crime. One of the main job duties includes keeping extensive records and writing reports with a great level of details. Attention to detail is very crucial in this industry, as mistakes can ruin evidence in court settings.
Forensic biology is an exciting field with various career advancement opportunities. While this career may not be for everyone, many people find rewarding opportuinities within forensic biology. Forensic professionals can help law enforcement and detectives find essential evidence in crime cases. Therefore, these professionals help crime victims and their families get the justice they deserve.