How To Become a Fingerprint Technician

A four year high school diploma or its educational equivalent and one year of full-time experience in fingerprint identification work. The high school diploma or its educational equivalent must be approved by a State’s Department of Education or a recognized accrediting organization.

Law Enforcement – Fingerprint Technician – Colorado Springs Police Department

What does a fingerprint technician do?

The criminal justice system greatly benefits from the work of fingerprint specialists. They help identify criminals, victims and the deceased. Although they typically work in laboratories, fingerprint technicians may also be required to testify truthfully in court to present their findings.

A thorough knowledge of lab tools and software is necessary for a number of tasks performed by a fingerprint technician, including:

What is a fingerprint technician?

A forensic scientist with expertise in fingerprint identification and classification is a fingerprint technician. They are not the same as latent print examiners, who are employed at crime scenes to recognize and gather hidden fingerprints. Fingerprint specialists frequently work in the criminal justice system rather than at crime scenes.

They mostly work in labs and concentrate on the technical elements of fingerprint identification. Fingerprint technicians take new prints, as well as those of criminal offenders or potential candidates for background checks.

Salary and job outlook for a fingerprint technician

According to the U. S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of forensic science technicians—including fingerprint technicians—is predicted to increase by 14% from now until 2029. The BLS attributes this development to technological advancements and a better understanding of forensic identification methods. The field is relatively small, so even though this growth is faster than average, competition should remain high for these jobs.

How to become a fingerprint technician

There are several ways to start your career in this industry. To become a fingerprint technician, decide which route you want to go down and then do the following:

1. Choose where you want to work

Fingerprint technicians typically work within law enforcement agencies. As a fingerprint technician, you may want to work for organizations at the state, county, and city levels, among others. It’s important to decide where you want to work before taking any other steps to become a fingerprint technician because the requirements may change depending on your location and the type of agency. Start by looking up the requirements for the particular region where you want to work.

Additionally, think about the kind of company you want to work for. You might need to have more education and security clearances if you’re interested in working as an FBI fingerprint technician. This is something to think about as well. Working for a larger organization like the FBI also offers more opportunities to advance your career, whether that be as a fingerprint specialist or a department supervisor. In contrast, there might be less requirements for working as a fingerprint technician for a state or local police department.

2. Obtain a relevant education

A bachelor’s degree in forensic science or a closely related field is typically required to work as a fingerprint technician. An associate degree, a job training program, and a high school diploma may be sufficient education in some cases. Take relevant chemistry, biology, and other science courses if you decide to pursue an associate’s degree. You can benefit from taking any classes that require you to work in a lab, and if your school offers forensic science or courses specifically about fingerprint identification, you should enroll in those as well.

If your education was not as specialized, you can also enroll in online programs to gain the skills you need for this career. Before working as a fingerprint technician, you must be able to manually and digitally record fingerprints, recognize various fingerprint types, and compare fingerprints. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), a national computer system for storing, comparing, and exchanging fingerprint data created by the FBI, should be covered in your education.

3. Become certified

Although it is not necessary to be certified to work as a fingerprint technician, you may choose to do so to improve your salary, advance your education, or land a promotion. The Tenprint Fingerprint Certification is the most popular credential obtained by fingerprint technicians. After two years as a fingerprint technician, you can obtain this certification through the International Association of Investigation (IAI).

With certifications available in a wide range of forensic science specialties, the IAI is the world’s largest and oldest forensic association. A fingerprint technician must not only have the necessary experience in order to receive the Tenprint certification, but also complete 80 hours of educational training in the subject of Tenprint, including 16 hours of instruction in courtroom testimony. All applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation.

Skills for a fingerprint technician

Working accurately and effectively in a laboratory setting is required for this career. Here are the skills a fingerprint technician needs:


What does a fingerprint specialist do?

The U. S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies forensic science technicians, which includes fingerprint analysts, as having a 17% expected increase in employment from 2016 to 2026.

How do I become a biometric?

Forensic science technicians who specialize in identifying fingerprints are called fingerprint analysts. They are typically in charge of collecting fingerprints from crime scenes, keeping them safe, having them tested in a lab, and confirming the results of the identification.

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