How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Connecticut

Connecticut ranks in the top 20 percent of states in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in terms of mean annual salaries for forensic scientists. As of May 2012, forensic scientists in Connecticut earned between $61,320 and $73,010.

Connecticut’s Forensic Science Laboratory, which is a part of the Division of Scientific Services, under the Connecticut Department of Emergency and Public Protection, is responsible for all forensic investigations throughout the state, from Bridgeport and Hartford to New Haven and Stamford.

Forensic Science Degree Granting Schools in Connecticut

Individuals in Connecticut who want to pursue forensic science degrees have a number of educational options, as this state has both undergraduate and graduate degree granting programs, including bachelor and master degrees in forensic science.

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A Master of Science degree in Forensic Science requires 40 credits of graduate work, as well as a thesis or internship. Course requirements for a Master of Science degree in Forensic Science include:

  • Survey of Forensic Science
  • Advanced Criminalistics
  • Physical Analysis in Forensic Science
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Advanced Criminalistics Laboratory
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Drug Chemistry and Identification
  • Fingerprints

Forensic Science Jobs Found in Connecticut

A Forensic Science Examiner I within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Scientific Services, is responsible for receiving, examining, and conducting complex analyses of physical evidence in the areas of DNA, forensic identification, and toxicology.

Candidates for the position of forensic science examiner I must have knowledge in:

  • Crime scene processing and evidence identification
  • Applicable techniques and procedures for analyzing evidentiary materials
  • Physical laboratory instrumentation, documents, firearms, fingerprints and reconstruction techniques
  • Oral and written communication skill and interpersonal skills
  • Laboratory analysis
  • Computer software
  • Acting as an expert witness in a court of law

Forensic scientists working in Connecticut’s Forensic Science Laboratory must possess at least 6 years of experience in the forensic analysis of evidentiary material.

However, candidates may substitute the experience requirements for college training in one or more of the following ways:

  • Candidates may substitute up to 4 years of education in one of the following:
    • Forensic science
    • Applied genomics
    • Biochemistry
    • Chemistry
    • Genetics
    • Molecular biology
    • Cell biology
  • Candidates possessing a master’s degree in chemistry, applied genomics, biochemistry, genetics, forensic science, or molecular and cell biology may substitute another 1 year of experience.
  • Candidates possessing a Ph.D. in chemistry, genetics, applied genomics, forensic science, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, or a closely related field may substitute their education for the experience requirement.
  • Candidates may also qualify for a forensic scientist I position if they possess a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or in a closely related field AND are chosen to complete the Connecticut Careers Trainees program, which is a two-year training period operated by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Candidates for forensic scientist jobs in Connecticut who meet the minimum experience/education requirements must take an examination that assesses their experience and training knowledge in the following areas:

  • Modern methods in crime scene processing and evidence examination
  • Applicable techniques and procedures for analyzing evidentiary materials
  • Physical laboratory instrumentation, documents, firearms, fingerprints and reconstruction techniques
  • Computer-based operating systems
  • The team approach in gathering and analyzing evidence

About Connecticut’s Forensic Science Laboratory

The Forensic Science Laboratory, which is located in Meriden, provides the following forensic science services to the law enforcement agencies within the state:

  • Forensic biology
  • Database DNA
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Nuclear DNA
  • Trace Evidence
  • Arson/Chemistry
  • Imprints/Impressions
  • Latent Prints
  • Questioned Documents
  • Firearms/Toolmarks
  • Color Processing
  • Photography and Imaging

The Forensic Science Laboratory may be responsible for:

  • Investigating physical evidence or evidentiary material related to a crime
  • Conducting or assisting in the scientific field investigation at the scene of a crime
  • Assuring the safe custody of evidence during an examination
  • Writing reports on the results of an examination of evidence
  • Rendering expert court testimony
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