According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 160 forensic science technicians were employed in the Charlotte area in 2012. This field is rapidly growing in North Carolina with 25.5% growth projected from 2010-2020 according to the state’s Department of Commerce.
The primary source of forensic science and CSI jobs in Charlotte is with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. This agency has both a crime lab and a unit specializing in searching crime scenes.
CSIs with the crime scene search unit document the site and collect evidence for further analysis at the crime lab. They also assist the District Attorney’s office with the preparation of cases and the Medical Examiner’s Office at the scenes of major disasters.
The crime lab has a number of sections that provide forensic services to state, municipal, and federal agencies in Mecklenburg County. They include:
- Questioned documents
- Latent prints
- Firearms analysis
- Impression analysis of footwear and tire tracks
- Illicit drugs
- Fire debris for arson cases
- Blood alcohol analysis
How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator Forensic Scientist in Charlotte
To get a job as a forensic scientist with the crime lab or the crime scene search unit typically requires a bachelor’s degree. Residents of Charlotte can learn how to become a crime scene investigator by getting a degree in criminal justice, biology, or forensic science. The department prefers that applicants have experience in one of the following areas:
- Crime scene collection
- Medical examiner’s office
- Police work
Prospective scientists for the crime lab need a degree in a hard science such as forensics, chemistry, or biology. To work in the lab as an investigative technician, the minimum requirement is to have a high school education. The department prefers to hire applicants who have had college level coursework in criminal justice, forensic science, or a related field.
Forensic Science and CSI Colleges and Degree Granting Schools in Charlotte
Prospective students who want to obtain a degree in the forensic sciences can do so at a state school outside of Charlotte. Individuals seeking CSI training with a criminal justice degree have a number of options from colleges located in Charlotte and from online schools that offer this type of training.
Obtaining a criminal justice degree will satisfy the educational requirement to become a CSI in Charlotte. The following types of criminal justice degrees can be obtained in this city:
- Certificate in latent evidence
- Associate’s degree in criminal justice technology
- Associate’s degree in criminal justice
- Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice
- Bachelor’s degree in criminology
- Master’s in criminal justice