How To Become an Evidence Technician

Would you like to work in a field where you could play a major role in solving crimes? Do you want a career that’s as rewarding as it is challenging? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might find a career as an evidence technician the perfect choice. Evidence technicians are a very important part of law enforcement. Without their dedication, skills, and knowledge, many crimes would take years to solve or might never be solved. Here is an overview of what evidence technicians do and how to become an evidence technician.

Steps for Becoming an Evidence Technician
  1. Attend a degree program or gain experience in a related field. …
  2. Apply for an evidence technician position.
  3. Attend an interview.
  4. Successfully complete a criminal history background check, fingerprint check, drug test, and a polygraph examination.

City Jobs – Evidence Technician

What does an evidence technician do?

An evidence technician typically collects and preserves evidence for training at the beginning of their career. As they grow in experience and advance in knowledge, they may conduct tests on the evidence. Evidence technicians may use computers to analyze data or specialized equipment like centrifuges or microscopes. The primary objective for evidence technicians is to follow strict legal protocols when collecting the evidence and ensure the preservation of the chain of custody for the evidence so that lawyers can use it in a courtroom trial.

Some common responsibilities for evidence technicians include:

What is an evidence technician?

An evidence technician is a type of forensic science technician who is responsible for preserving the chain of custody for evidence so it is legally valid at trial. Evidence technicians work in the crime scene investigation field and typically have a background in forensic science or criminal justice. They can work at the federal, state or local level of government. Other common names for evidence technicians include evidence specialist or property and evidence custodian. Experienced evidence technicians can advance their careers into positions like senior evidence technicians or supervisory evidence technicians.

How to become an evidence technician

Here are some steps you can follow to become an evidence technician:

1. Obtain a degree

Although a college degree is not mandatory to work as an evidence technician, many people choose to pursue a degree in a related field to position themselves as more competitive candidates. This is especially true if they do not have any prior experience in forensic science or criminal justice. Common bachelors degrees obtained by evidence technicians include criminal justice, criminal forensics, forensic science, constitutional law, crime scene technology and crime scene management. Common topics in these courses include:

2. Gain experience

Many employers prefer evidence technician candidates to have previous experience in an area such as law enforcement or forensic science. Participating in an internship helps students gain a better understanding and more knowledge about how crime scene investigators handle real crime scene evidence. Other ways to gain relevant experience include apprenticeships, conferences, workshops, volunteering, networking or joining professional associations.

3. Participate in a training program

In place of or in addition to a college degree, there are evidence technician training programs you can attend through colleges and private institutions. Some of these training programs are only for members of law enforcement, so make sure to check program qualifications. These evidence training programs typically include 40 to 80 hours of classwork, including topics like:

4. Earn certification

Most employers prefer evidence technicians to have a certification in a related area. For example, there is a Certified Property and Evidence Specialist certification you can earn through the International Association for Property and Evidence, Inc. (IAPE). IAPE members can become certified evidence technicians by meeting the requirements for training and passing a written test and working in the field for a set amount of time. This certification is for both law enforcement officials and non-law enforcement officials. The IAPE also has training courses and other resources available to their members.

5. Get training

Newly hired evidence technicians go through an on-the-job training program, usually under the supervision of a senior evidence technician. The new evidence technician works closely with the senior evidence technician to gain direct experience and learn the intricacies of the position until they are ready to work independently.

Skills for an evidence technician

There are many hard skills and soft skill that evidence technicians need, including:

Workplace environment for evidence technicians

An evidence technician typically works an average of 40 hours per week and during regular daytime business hours. There may be some occasions where they need to work evenings or weekends, such as when there are urgent cases, time-sensitive crime scenes or deadlines to meet. Evidence technicians most frequently work within the surroundings of a laboratory or at a crime scene location.

FAQ

What skills do you need to be an evidence technician?

Evidence Technician Skills & Competencies
  • Analytical skills: The job requires analyzing physical evidence, such as fingerprints and DNA, to match it to suspects.
  • Problem-solving skills: Evidence technicians apply scientific tests and methods to help law enforcement officials solve crimes.

What does an evidence technician do at a crime scene?

The definition of a crime scene technician is a person who works with law enforcement to evaluate evidence left at the scene. The primary responsibilities of a crime scene technician include collecting evidence, analyzing data, and providing written and oral reports on their findings.

What is an evidence specialist?

An evidence Specialist, also commonly referred to as an evidence collector, evidence technician or evidence custodian, is a crime scene investigation (CSI) professional who is responsible for collecting, preserving, documenting, and preparing physical evidence once it arrives from the crime scene.

How do I become a technician?

The degree of education required for this job depends on what you’re specific skillset is. Some technicians only need a high school diploma, others may want to complete an associate’s program or earn a certificate to help their employment opportunities.

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