Forensic Analyst

Forensic Analyst
AttachmentSize
Download PDF flyer for this career1.56 MB

Forensic analysts use scientific techniques to solve criminal cases. They may use traditional methods such as fingerprinting, assisted by computers; in addition, blood analysis, forensic dentistry, voice and speech spectrograms, and genetic fingerprinting. Chemicals, such as poisons and drugs, are analyzed by chromatography and ESDA (electrostatic document analysis) is a technique used for revealing indentations on paper, which helps determine if documents have been tampered with.

Low-end Salary: 
$32,900/yr
Median Salary: 
$51,570/yr
High-end Salary: 
$82,990/yr
Education: 

A career as a forensic analyst requires an undergraduate degree in mathematics, chemistry, biology, or a related natural science field. If the coursework is well planned, after finishing one of these degrees, you could immediately start applying for crime lab jobs. Another option would be to continue your education in graduate school earning a MSFS degree (2 year program). This will make you more competitive for entry level jobs and once hired will qualify you for promotions to supervisory positions.

Math Required: 

College Algebra Trigonometry Geometry Calculus I and II Statistics

When Math Is Used: 

A forensic analyst uses bloodstain pattern analysis in order to tell the story of the crime. It turns out that the location where the blood lands, and the shape of the blood on the landing surface, reveal both the direction in which the blood was moving and how much force was used to wound the victim. Analysts use math principles to figure out the location of the victim when the blood was shed and even the type of weapon or impact that caused the victim’s injury. Sometimes, blood from a weapon can even reveal a criminal’s mentality.

Potential Employers: 

About 30 percent of forensic analysts are self-employed, and around 34 percent of detective and investigator jobs are in investigation and security services, including private detective agencies, while another 9 percent are in department or other general merchandise stores. The rest work mostly in State and local government, legal services firms, employment services companies, insurance agencies, and credit mediation establishments, including banks and other depository institutions.

Facts: 

The first recorded reference to forensics comes from a book written in China in 1248. The book, called "Hsi Duan Yu" (which means "The Washing Away of Wrongs") explained how to tell the difference between a person who has drowned and a person who has been strangled.

Contribute!

Know of a math-related career or how one uses math? Submit a career entry to the site!

You must be signed in. Don't have an account? Register here!

Salary figures from
the current US Bureau of Labor of Statistics website and represent the
90th percentile.

The most common question students ask math teachers at every level is “When will I use math?” WeUseMath.org is a non-profit website that helps to answer this question. This website describes the importance of mathematics and many rewarding career opportunities available to students who study mathematics.


 

Physician
$187,199/yr
Cryptanalyst
$137,780/yr
Actuary
$160,000/yr
$126,000/yr
Attorney
$187,199/yr
$150,000/yr
$105,581/yr
Climatologist
$132,130/yr
$117,210/yr
Hydrologist
$112,490/yr

Figures represent salary potential.

20
May

Dr. Cary Oberije, a postdoctoral researcher in The Netherlands, has found that mathematical models can be used to accurately predict patients' responses to treatment. Prediction models were used to analyze lung cancer patients' likelihood of survival and...

read more