According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 300 forensic scientists worked in Missouri in 2012 with an average annual salary of $45,850. One specialty of this discipline is crime scene investigation. Specialized scientists known as crime scene investigators (CSIs) document crime scenes and collect evidence for further analysis.
Despite the quick turnover often portrayed in the media, analyzing a crime scene can take a substantial amount of time: up to a week. CSIs often work in difficult conditions and can be exposed to extreme weather, hazardous chemicals, decomposing bodies, and insect infestations.
Missouri Crime Scene Investigation Units
In Missouri, most of the jobs available in this profession are with law enforcement agencies. The following agencies are among those that employ CSIs in the state:
- St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Crime Laboratory
- Evidence Technician Unit
- Kansas City Police Department
- Crime Laboratory
- Investigations Bureau: Crime Scene Investigation Section
- Columbia Police Department
- Forensic Evidence Unit
- Springfield Police Department
- Investigations and Support Services Bureau
- Independence Police Department
- Criminal Investigations Unit
- St. Joseph Police Department
- Crime Scene Unit
CSI Education and Training in Missouri
Although some entry level crime scene technician positions in Missouri only require a high school diploma, competition for such positions can be fierce. Applicants can distinguish themselves by getting forensic training such as specializing in crime scene investigation as part of a criminal justice degree.
Options available in Missouri range from getting a certificate in CSI to getting a bachelor’s degree from schools located in the state. Another option is to enroll in one of the online criminal justice programs that are available.
In other cases, the CSIs in Missouri are sworn officers and have undergone academy training to obtain their positions. Becoming part of a Forensic Evidence team can require at least three years of experience as a police officer. Several law enforcement entities provide specialized training in CSI techniques to police officers and detectives. Having a criminal justice degree should also help applicants who are seeking law enforcement positions.
CSI Certification in Missouri
In some cases, individuals who have been hired as entry level CSIs are required to obtain certification from the International Association of Identification within two years. Even experienced CSIs continue their education, since technology in the field advances rapidly. Certification is available in such areas as:
- Crime scene analysis
- Fingerprint analysis
- Blood pattern analysis
- Art forensics
- Video forensics
- Photography forensics