Professional/Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,, job opportunities for forensic scientists are expected to grow by more than 30% by the year 2016., , reports that the median annual salary for a forensic scientist is between $40,000 and $74,000, depending on experience. Forensic scientists employed by federal agencies typically earn higher salaries than those employed by state and local agencies. See Bureau of Labor Statistics data below for more information.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009 (14-4092 Forensic Science Technicians)

Employment Mean Annual Wage
National Estimates       12,870            $55,070
    Local Government         7,140            $54,880
    State Government         4,290            $53,070
    Medical/Diagnostic Labs            330            $57,076
    Federal            160             $92,100
    Architect/Engin/Related Services            120             $59,320
Missouri Estimates
           280             $45,210
Illinois Estimates            690             $68,350
St. Louis Estimates            110             $60,250

Training Requirements to become a Forensic Scientist – A four-year bachelor’s degree in a laboratory-based scientific discipline is needed, with a strong background in physics, math, and chemistry being especially important. This background will also enable graduates to enter science fields other than forensic science or to pursue graduate studies in areas of biology or chemistry.

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