Forensic science is a wide field encompassing a variety of disciplines. Forensic science jobs in Massachusetts may range from analyzing evidence obtained at a crime scene, to running toxicology and drug tests, to examining DNA. The broadness of the forensic science discipline is what draws many students to this field, as well as the exciting nature of the investigatory work. Becoming a forensic scientist means studying the natural sciences, as well as anthropology and evidence technology and techniques.
Examples of the types of jobs that may be available to forensic science graduates in Massachusetts include:
- Forensic scientist
- DNA Forensic scientist
- Forensic examiner
- DNA technician
- Digital evidence specialist
Forensic Science Education Options in Massachusetts
Forensic science technician or technology-based jobs in Massachusetts may require a two-year associate degree, but most Massachusetts forensic science jobs require at least a four-year degree. For example, a recently advertised forensic researcher position requires a master’s degree in Forensic Science or a related field; while a job such as DNA Forensic Scientist for the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory requires a bachelor’s degree.
Forensic science employers in Massachusetts usually request that an applicant’s degree, whether undergraduate or graduate, be in one of the natural sciences. These include forensic science, physics, chemistry, analytical chemistry, biology, pharmacology, and biochemistry.
It is a good idea to choose, if possible, a forensic science degree program that is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Employers in Massachusetts often hire FEPAC program graduates over non-FEPAC program graduates.
Forensic science degree programs available in Massachusetts and online include:
- Associate of Science in Biotechnology-Forensic Science
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
- Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a Forensic Science Concentration
- Master of Science/Doctoral Degree in Forensics
- Master of Science/Doctoral Degree in Biomedical Forensic Science
- Master of Science/Doctoral Degree in Forensic Anthropology
Organizations Sponsoring Forensic Science Jobs in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts State Police Forensic Services Group – The main crime laboratory used by the Massachusetts State Police, located in Maynard (central laboratory) and the following other locations statewide:
- North Sudbury
- Jamaica Plain
Units at these labs include (but are not limited to) Criminalistics, DNA, Digital Evidence Multimedia, Homeland Security Investigations, firearms identification, arson and explosives, and toxicology.
- Boston Police Department Crime Laboratory Unit – This is the main forensic lab used by the Boston Police Department. Services provided by this lab include forensic presentations and lectures, courtroom testimony in-service training, analysis of evidence, reporting of results, evidence collection, case review, and crime scene processing evidence preservation.
- Forensic Toxicology Laboratory, UMass Medical Center – Located in Worcester, this laboratory analyzes drug metabolites and drugs and handles cases for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
- Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – This federally funded research and development center in Lexington handles laboratory and forensic science matters dealing with national security. It works with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.
- Stroz Friedberg – Located in Boston, Stroz Friedberg works in the fields of intelligence and digital forensics. It provides consulting services to companies in need of these services.
- Joule Scientific Staffing – This staffing company works only with scientific positions and companies in need across the state of Massachusetts. Forensic science jobs that they have staffed include analytical chemistry supervisor, research associate, organic chemist, project manager, cell structure scientist, and microbiology lead. Taking a temporary-to-permanent position can be a great way for a forensic scientist just beginning a career in Massachusetts to get into the field.
Professional Associations for Forensic Scientists in Massachusetts
Massachusetts based forensic scientists may wish to join a professional organization. These types of associations can help with networking, career and educational opportunities. They include:
- New England Division of the International Association for Identification
- American College of Forensic Examiners Institute