Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Career Education in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Labor Market Information indicates that between 2010 and 2020, job opportunities for crime scene investigators in Michigan are expected to grow by 4.5 percent, with an average of 54  job openings each year. Becoming a crime scene investigator in Michigan is only possible through completion of specialized training, education and experience. Luckily, there are many career training schools and universities/colleges in Michigan that offer CSI training for this growing field.

Possible CSI job titles in Michigan include:

  • Field investigator
  • Detective
  • Police officer
  • Evidence technician
  • Evidence technician supervisor

Crime Scene Investigator Education in Michigan

There are various types of crime scene investigation jobs across Michigan, each of which carries its own educational, training and experiential requirements. Some CSI jobs in Michigan require up to two years of training, or a certificate or associate degree; while others may require a four-year or more college degree.

Some CSI training programs in Michigan are accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. It is not obligatory that applicants for CSI jobs in Michigan graduate from FEPAC-accredited schools, but be aware that some CSI employers may only hire graduates of schools accredited by FEPAC.

Crime Scene Investigation Certificates and Associate Degrees in Michigan

Crime scene investigation jobs that deal with collecting and processing evidence in typically require completion of a certificate or associate’s degree program. In Michigan, these types of CSI jobs include:

  • Police Officer
  • Field Technician
  • Evidence Assistant

Accredited institutions in Michigan offer the following certificate and associate degree programs in criminal investigation:

  • Associate of Science in Criminology and Forensic Technology
  • Associate of Science in Forensic Technology

Crime Scene Investigation Bachelor and Graduate Degrees in Michigan

Criminal investigation jobs in Michigan that require at least a bachelor’s degree include:

  • Evidence Analyst
  • Forensic Investigator
  • Biological Anthropologist
  • Detective

Accredited colleges and universities in Michigan offer these criminal investigation degrees at the bachelor’s level and higher:

  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biochemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Anthropology
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Professional Certification and Training for CSIs in Michigan

For CSI professionals who are already working in Michigan, joining and/or becoming certified by a nationally or internationally known entity is recommended. This is a great way to network, to meet other professionals and to further one’s education:

  • American Board of Forensic Document Examiners – Certification requirements include a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience working in a forensic laboratory. Certificants are known as Diplomates of the ABFDE. According to the ABFDE, two professionals from Michigan are currently Diplomates.
  • Forensic Art Certification Board, International Association for Identification – Applicants must complete 80 hours of IAI-approved forensic art training programs, two years of experience as a forensic artist, and have worked on at least 30 forensic art cases. Certificants are referred to as Certified Forensic Artists (CFA). According to the IAI, there are no CFAs from Michigan listed on the Certified Forensic Artist Roster as of 2013.

Other CSI positions, such as those within the Michigan State Police or homicide investigation, require specific training that one receives after being hired. The Michigan State Police Homicide Investigation Training is one example. Designed for Michigan State Police detectives, the training includes:

  • Scientific and diagnostic aids
  • Methods of forensic anthropology
  • Presentations on bite marks and forensic entomology
  • Medicolegal autopsy
  • Describing, sketching and photographing the scene of a homicide
  • Investigating a mock crime scene
  • Rules of evidence collection

Law Enforcement Organizations Supporting CSI Jobs in Michigan

  • City of Lansing Police Department-Crime Scene Investigation– The CSI Unit of this city police department investigates all types of crimes and accidents within the city. Duties include courtroom sketching, casting, photography, fingerprinting, and physical and trace evidence collecting and analyzing.
  • Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office Crime Bureau – This county crime investigation unit helps investigate major and minor crimes occurring within Hillsdale County, Michigan. The bureau has its own crime lab in the county that helps to analyze evidence collected from crime scenes.
  • Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Investigative and Forensic Services Division-With its own forensic science laboratory open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this county crime investigation division located in Pontiac analyzes fingerprints, photos from crime scenes and other evidence taken from crimes occurring in the county.
  • Michigan State Police Investigative Support Section – Digital Evidence Unit – The Michigan State Police’s Investigative Support Section and its Digital Evidence Unit collects and processes evidence from crime scenes in supporting law enforcement agencies across Michigan. Four Digital Evidence Units are located across Michigan, in Rockford, Flint, Livonia and Lansing.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Detroit Division – The FBI’s Detroit Division has three Evidence Response Teams, each composed of eight special agents and other specialists. They gather and process physical evidence from federal crime scenes in Michigan. Some of the work these special agents do include recovering DNA, determining bullet trajectories, analyze blood spatter patterns and stains, diagram scenes, photograph the scene, and gather fingerprints.

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