The field of forensic science is growing rapidly. According to the Oregon Employment Department, the number of jobs for forensic science technicians in Oregon is projected to increase 7.4% from 210 to 2020.
Jobs in the forensic science field can include those for scientists who work in the lab analyzing evidence and those identifying and processing evidence at crime scenes. The Eugene Police Department provides both types of positions.
This department has its own Forensics Evidence Unit. It was the first local lab in Oregon to be awarded accreditation from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors. Four civilian forensic analysts perform the following types of analyses:
- Latent fingerprints
- Surveillance video enhancement
- Trace Evidence
In addition, this unit specializes in analyzing crime scenes. The crime scene investigator (CSI) has the capability to perform 360 panorama photography that enables the scene to be reconstructed and presented in court. The CSI in this department is a forensic technician who collects and preserves evidence including:
- Biological samples
- Footwear prints
- Latent fingerprints
- Tool marks
- Tire tracks
How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator or Forensic Scientist in Eugene
CSI – The requirements to become a crime scene investigator include having knowledge of the techniques of crime scene analysis. A strong background in photography is required. Typically, applicants have had two years of college. One way to obtain some of the required knowledge is to get a criminal justice degree. The following types of courses are recommended:
- Data processing
- Life or physical science
One year’s experience in a forensic or photographic lab is also recommended. The forensic technician will be required to obtain crime scene technician certification from the International Association for Identification within 18 months of being hired.
Forensic Science – Typically, applicants for positions as forensic analysts in Eugene have a degree in one of the following areas:
- Forensic science
It is also recommended that applicants have a year of work experience, preferably in a forensic or analytical laboratory.
Forensic Science and CSI Colleges and Degree Granting Schools in Eugene
Obtaining forensic science and CSI positions is a very competitive process and having as much education in these areas as possible should enhance the opportunities to get hired. Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in forensic science have several options from schools in Oregon.
Individuals who seek a degree in criminal justice can obtain an associate of applied science in human services: criminal justice in Eugene. Another option is to enroll in one of the many online colleges that offer associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in this field.