How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Oklahoma

Often times the evidence obtained from laboratory work that is presented by forensic scientists is the determining factor in a verdict made by a judge or jury. Using technology that was not available a decade ago, forensic scientists are also responsible for causing cases to be overturned or arrests to be made in cold cases.

Last year in Oklahoma there were 200 forensic science technicians working across the region who made an average yearly salary of $59,170. Candidates who are interested in this career field will find that when looking into how to become a forensic scientist in Oklahoma, certain requirements are common among all hiring agencies- namely an education.

After obtaining the right education and training candidates will be prepared to search the competitive market for forensic science jobs in Oklahoma. Employers in the field include:

  • Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Forensic Science Services
  • Norman Police Department’s Investigation Division’s Crime Lab
  • Tulsa Police Department’s Forensic Laboratory
  • Laboratory and Support Services Division of the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Investigations Bureau

Getting Qualified for Forensic Science Jobs in Oklahoma

Because of the variety of specializations in the field, there are a number of education credentials that will qualify candidates for these positions in addition to a forensic science degree. These include:

  • Chemistry
  • Criminalistics
  • Toxicology
  • Natural Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Criminology
  • Biology

Each agency in Oklahoma that employs forensic scientists will have their own hiring standards. As a comparison, the State Bureau of Investigation requires its entry-level Criminalists to have at least a bachelor’s degree in any of the above subject areas, with increasingly stringent education and experience requirements for higher level positions.

There are a number of forensic science schools and colleges in Oklahoma that offer degree programs in these relevant fields, with additional opportunities online.

Up to Six Bodies Found in Recent Cold Case Discovery

What started out as a training exercise turned into one of the more bizarre cases Oklahoma forensic scientists have recently encountered. Forensic pathologists and anthropologists were called to the scene when highway patrol troopers discovered two rusting cars submerged in a reservoir after testing new sonar equipment. Even more surprising was the discovery of human remains of up to six people in the side-by-side cars manufactured in 1952 and 1969. Forensic scientists usually deal with remains that are not much more than a day or two old, and in unusual cases weeks or months. Because this case involves identifying human remains that have been submerged for decades, forensic scientists will need to use every strategy they have to glean any possible clues from the gathered evidence.

Although the models and makes of the cars has narrowed down the victims to two likely cases of disappeared parties, determining the causes of death and the surrounding circumstances will prove to be a far greater challenge to forensic scientists.

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