How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator Forensic Scientist in Germantown, Maryland

Germantown, Maryland’s third most populated city, was ranked 24th among CNNMoney’s Best Places to Live 2012.  Part of the attraction to the city is its close proximity to Washington, D.C. and the many employers there. Forensic science and crime scene investigation (CSI) students will be happy to discover that there are many employers in the area, not only in Germantown but also in nearby Maryland cities and in the nation’s capital. The diversity of employers, from the federal government to law enforcement agencies to privately owned corporations, represents diversity among the types of forensic science and CSI jobs in Germantown.

Most forensic laboratory science and CSI jobs in Germantown and the surrounding area require at least a bachelor degree. Some, however, value experience just as much as education, as seen in the section below. The options for CSI and forensic science education in Germantown include:

  • Certificate in Fire and Arson Investigation
  • Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice Forensics
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry with specialization in Trace Evidence/Drug Analysis
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry General Forensic Science

Job Requirements for Forensic Science and CSI Jobs in Germantown

Germantown is home to many types of forensic science and crime scene investigation (CSI) jobs. Requirements for these jobs differ based upon employers, levels of security clearance necessary and technical expertise vs. experience needed for the job.

Examples of forensic science/CSI jobs in the Germantown area and the requirements for each job are:

  • Criminal investigator (federal government):
    • Must be younger than 37 years of age
    • Must have at least one year of specialized experience
    • Bachelor degree is preferred but not mandatory
  • Forensic toxicologist (Medical Examiner’s office):
    • Bachelor degree in toxicology or in a field that includes 30 hours in chemistry, physiology or biochemistry and 12 hours in toxicology
    • One year of specialized experience
  • Forensic technician (private company that contracts with U.S. government):
    • Bachelor degree in forensic science or related field
    • Eligible to obtain Secret or Top Secret level clearance with Sensitive Compartmented Information eligibility
  • Forensic analyst (private company that contracts with U.S. defense):
    • Bachelor degree in computer science or a related technology discipline
    • Eight to ten years of experience in data security administration
  • Forensic DNA analyst (private company that works with U.S. government):
    • Bachelor degree in biology, forensic science or related field (Master degree preferred)
    • One year of DNA experience

Top Employers of Forensic Laboratory Science and CSI Professionals in Germantown

  • Montgomery County Department of Police–Criminal Investigations Division–Forensic Services Section/Crime Laboratory – This section of the county police department in Rockville (about 10 miles from Germantown) includes the following  units:

    • Photography Unit
    • Latent Print Unit
    • Firearms Examination Unit
    • Crime Scene Unit
    • Forensic Chemistry Unit
    • Forensic Biology Unit (DNA)
    • Evidence Unit
    • Polygraph Unit
  • General Dynamics Information Technology – This international company with a Germantown location contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense to perform computer forensic work. Types of forensic science jobs here include Forensic Analyst and Digital Evidence Analyst.
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission – Located in Rockville (10 miles from Germantown), this department of the federal government often employs forensic science specialists to help protect the country and the environment from nuclear threats. Computer Forensic Analysts and Senior Cyber Security Specialists are just two examples of the types of forensic jobs here.
  • Orchid Cellmark – This international DNA biotesting company with a facility in Germantown works with the U.S. government and the FBI to provide forensic biological and DNA services. Examples of forensic science jobs here include Forensic DNA Analyst.

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