According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 110 forensic scientists were employed in Louisiana in 2012. Their average annual salary was $45,520. Experienced professionals in the top 90th percentile of their field earned $63,900 a year. The Louisiana Workforce Connection estimated in 2010 that ten positions a year would open up for forensic scientists over the next ten years.
Forensic Lab Technicians
Many forensic scientists work as lab technicians and are frequently highly specialized. These are some of the types of areas they can work in:
- Blood pattern analysis
- DNA analysis
- Impression analysis—tires or shoes
There are several crime labs throughout Louisiana that hired forensic technicians in 2013.
Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. This lab is located in Baton Rouge. It is a large facility that receives over 18,000 requests for items to be analyzed a year. The lab has increased its employment level and reduced the average turnaround on cases to less than 15 days. One position that 2013 information is available for is the following:
- Crime laboratory analyst I: $31,968 – $63,648
North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory. This Shreveport facility has been expanded. In 2013, it advertised the following position:
- Firearms examiner—Forensics scientist I or II: $38,000 – $45,000
CSIs in Louisiana
In contrast to many forensic scientists who toil in the lab, a number of these professionals work at the scene of the crime. They document the crime scene and preserve critical evidence for further analysis.
In some cases, a crime scene investigator (CSI) is a detective who has been trained in forensic science, while other CSIs are civilian employees with degrees in forensic science or criminal justice.
The average CSI position in Louisiana paid $48,000 a year in the timeframe of September 2012 to October 2013 according to Indeed.com.