How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator Forensic Scientist in Burlington, Vermont

The field of forensic sciences is growing nationally with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating a 19% increase in the availability of forensic science technician jobs from 2010 through 2020.  This includes both positions for forensic science lab work and crime scene investigations (CSI).

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Forensic Laboratory Science and CSI Jobs in Burlington

Forensic scientist and CSI jobs in Burlington are with the Vermont Forensics Lab.  It operates as part of the Department of Public Safety.  The lab employs civilians, except for the assistant lab director that is a liaison position held by a police officer outside of the lab.

This accredited forensics lab is composed of the following specialized units that are run by supervisors:

  • Biology

    • DNA analysis for case work
    • DNA input into the CODIS (combined DNA index system) database
    • Serology
  • Chemistry

    • Arson analysis
    • Drug analysis
    • Paint analysis
  • Blood and breath alcohol program
  • Physical comparison

    • Firearms
    • Fingerprints
    • Imaging

How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Burlington

There are a variety of forensic science positions within the Vermont Forensics Lab, and each position has a number of different grades.  Some of these positions involve crime scene investigator work, while others are strictly in the lab.  The requirements for entry-level positions that involve both CSI and lab work are found below.

Forensic Chemist – This position entails performing the following types of analyses:

  • Criminalistic
  • Chemical
  • Microscopic
  • Physical

These comparisons can be made at the scene of the crime in conjunction with police investigations or in the forensics lab.  These scientists may have to testify in court about their findings.  A bachelor’s degree is required in biology, chemistry, or some other natural science and must include at least 18 hours of coursework in chemistry.

Forensic Lab Latent Print Examiner – This entry-level position entails on the job training in the lab and in the field.  Part of the job description specifies an ability to get to crime scenes that may be in remote or backwoods areas.  A bachelor’s degree is required for this position, but not field is specified.  Applicants for CSI positions frequently obtain criminal justice degrees.

The following two positions are strictly forensic science lab positions.

Forensic Lab Firearm-Toolmark Examiner – To start at this position requires either a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent technical qualification.  The lab prefers candidates who have either of the following:

  • Forensic lab experience
  • Firearms experience (practical or technical)

Forensic Lab Photographer –  A college degree is not required for this position if the applicant has three years of experience in one of the following:

  • Photographic processing
  • Digital imaging

Alternative backgrounds that are acceptable include:

  • Bachelor’s degree and knowledge of these areas
  • Associate’s degree and one year of experience

Forensic Science and CSI Colleges and Degree Granting Schools in Burlington

The only forensic science degree offered in Vermont is in computer and digital forensics.  Prospective forensic science students in Burlington can obtain their degree from online colleges that offer training in this field.

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Schools in Burlington do offer the following types of BA degrees:

  • Criminal justice
  • Legal and justice studies

There are also a number of online colleges that offer degrees in criminal justice.  These range from associate’s to graduate.

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