According to the Mississippi Department of Economic Security (MDES), 300 forensic science technicians were employed in the state in 2010. The field is growing nationally and in Mississippi. The MDES projects job growth in the double digits throughout 2020. The increase is projected to be 13.3% with fifteen jobs becoming available each year.
Forensic labs are scattered throughout Mississippi. The Columbus and Jackson Police Departments have their own crime labs, while the Mississippi Department of Public Safety has its main lab in Jackson. Additional regional labs are located in the following cities:
- Gulf Coast
Some areas of specialty for forensic scientists who work in a lab include:
- Computer and video analysis
- DNA analysis
- Fire debris analysis
- Firearms examination
- Impression analysis (shoes and tires)
- Latent fingerprint analysis
Forensic scientist salaries can vary widely depending on the amount of experience and the specialty of the scientist. The average salary for a Mississippi forensic science technician in the period from September 2012 to October 2013 was $66,000 according to Indeed.com.
In addition, many forensic scientists are crime scene investigators (CSIs). This position entails rapidly arriving at a crime scene to document the site and collect and preserve evidence for further examination in a lab.
The types of positions for CSIs vary greatly in Mississippi. Some law enforcement agencies hire civilians for these positions, while others use senior patrol Deputies or sworn Criminal Investigators as their crime scene technicians. The average salary for a crime scene investigator in Mississippi was $62,000 in the year preceding October 2013 according to Indeed.com.