CompGeo Salary Survey Benchmark Job Summary and Competencies

Forensic Science Technicians

The Benchmark Job Description below represents the specific Position Characteristics of the job used in the Salary Survey. Benchmark Job Descriptions should be inspected carefully to review the degree of matching between an organizations' Job and the Salary Survey Benchmark. Matching internal Jobs to Salary Survey Benchmark Jobs should not be done on Job Title alone. A thorough comparison of Salary Survey Benchmark to Internal Job Descriptions is recommended. A good overlap should exist on any comparisons used on critical Job Dimensions and Competencies.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
Summary Job Description Tasks
Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry. Testify in court about investigative and analytical methods and findings.
Interpret laboratory findings and test results to identify and classify substances, materials, and other evidence collected at crime scenes.
Operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus.
Prepare solutions, reagents, and sample formulations needed for laboratory work.
Collect evidence from crime scenes, storing it in conditions that preserve its integrity.
Identify and quantify drugs and poisons found in biological fluids and tissues, in foods, and at crime scenes.
Reconstruct crime scenes to determine relationships among pieces of evidence.
Collect impressions of dust from surfaces to obtain and identify fingerprints.
Analyze gunshot residue and bullet paths to determine how shootings occurred.
Visit morgues, examine scenes of crimes, or contact other sources to obtain evidence or information to be used in investigations.
Examine physical evidence such as hair, fiber, wood or soil residues to obtain information about its source and composition.
Determine types of bullets used in shooting and if fired from a specific weapon.
Examine firearms to determine mechanical condition and legal status, performing restoration work on damaged firearms to obtain information such as serial numbers.
Confer with ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, medical, chemical, or metallurgical experts concerning evidence and its interpretation.
Compare objects such as tools with impression marks to determine whether a specific object is responsible for a specific mark.
Keep records and prepare reports detailing findings, investigative methods, and laboratory techniques.
Use chemicals and other substances to examine latent fingerprint evidence and compare developed prints to those of known persons in databases.
Take photographs of evidence.
Train new technicians and other personnel on forensic science techniques.
Examine and analyze blood stain patterns at crime scenes.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
Important Knowledge Competencies Competency Description
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
Important Skill Competencies Competency Description
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
Important Ability Competencies Competency Description
Flexibility of Closure The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Far Vision The ability to see details at a distance.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Perceptual Speed The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Speed of Closure The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
Finger Dexterity The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Visual Color Discrimination The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
Fluency of Ideas The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Visualization The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Arm-Hand Steadiness The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Originality The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Selective Attention The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Manual Dexterity The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Time Sharing The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
Multilimb Coordination The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
Tools/Technology Example Product Category
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software Graphics or photo imaging software
Automated Biometric Identification System ABIS Data base user interface and query software
Combined DNA Index System CODIS Data base user interface and query software
Corel WordPerfect software Word processing software
DNA sequence analysis software Analytical or scientific software
DataWorks Plus Digital CrimeScene Data base user interface and query software
DesignWare 3D EyeWitness Graphics or photo imaging software
Eos Systems PhotoModeler Graphics or photo imaging software
Graphics software Graphics or photo imaging software
IBM Lotus Notes Electronic mail software
Image enhancement software Graphics or photo imaging software
Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS Data base user interface and query software
Laboratory information management system LIMS software Analytical or scientific software
Microsoft Access Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Office Visio Charting software
Microsoft Outlook Electronic mail software
Microsoft Word Word processing software
Mideo Systems EZDoc Plus Graphics or photo imaging software
Midwest Information Systems PAX-it Graphics or photo imaging software
National Crime Information Center NCIC database Data base user interface and query software
National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN Data base user interface and query software SmartDraw Legal Graphics or photo imaging software
The CAD Zone The Crime Zone Graphics or photo imaging software
Trancite Logic Systems ScenePD Graphics or photo imaging software
Visual Statement Vista FX3 CSI Graphics or photo imaging software
Web browser software Internet browser software
35 millimeter cameras Still cameras
Benchtop mixers Laboratory mixers
Biohazard suits Hazardous material protective apparel
Blood collection kits Biological evidence collection kits
Body fluid collection kits Biological evidence collection kits
Breathalyzers Alcohol analysers
Colored camera filters Camera lenses or filters
Crime scene evidence flags Flags or accessories
Crime scene tape measures Tape measures
Cyanoacrylate fuming chambers Forensic chemical workstations
Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA collection kits Biological evidence collection kits
Desktop computers Desktop computers
Digital cameras Digital cameras
Digital video cameras Digital camcorders or video cameras
Distance measuring wheels Measuring wheels for distance
Drug testing kits Narcotic test kits
Electronic measuring devices Distance meters
Electronic precision balances Laboratory balances
Electrostatic dust print lifters Footprint lifters
Evidence collection containers Specimen collectors
Evidence scissors Laboratory scissors
Fingerprint brushes Fingerprint applicators or brushes
Fingerprint evidence kits Fingerprint latent print kits
Fingerprint recognition systems Biometric identification equipment
Footwear protectors Footwear covers
Fuming hot plates Laboratory hotplates
Gel lifters Footprint lifters
Glass specimen jars Specimen collectors
Glassware washers Laboratory washing machines
Gunshot residue kits Nitrogen or nitrate or nitrite analyzer
Hand held magnifiers Magnifiers
Handheld digital thermometers Handheld thermometer
Handheld evidence collection computers Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers
Impression casting kits Footprint lifters
Infrared light sources Infrared lamps
Insect collection containers Laboratory insect containers
Insect swoop nets Fabric or netting for entomology
Inspection mirrors Magnifiers
Laboratory benchtop centrifuges Benchtop centrifuges
Laptop computers Notebook computers
Large format cameras Still cameras
Laser trajectory kits Lasers
Long-wave ultraviolet UV lamps Ultraviolet UV lamps
Medical hemostats Floor grade forceps or hemostats
Metal detectors Metal detectors
Microscope slides Microscope slides
Mobile data computers Notebook computers
Navigational compasses Direction finding compasses
Optical compound microscopes Binocular light compound microscopes
Personal computers Personal computers
Photo markers Identification markers
Photographic scales Rulers
Plastic evidence tweezers Laboratory tools
Plastic specimen jars Specimen collectors
Pointed scalpels Laboratory scalpels
Police vans Minivans or vans
Portable generators Gas generators
Portable lasers Lasers
Portable two way radios Two way radios
Postmortem print spoons Postmortem fingerprint or impression materials
Protective latex gloves Protective gloves
Protective masks Medical staff isolation or surgical masks
Protractors Protractors
Reciprocating saws Power saws
Rounded scalpels Laboratory scalpels
Safety glasses Safety glasses
Self-contained breathing apparatus Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories
Sexual assault evidence collection kits Sexual assault determination kits
Shovels Shovels
Sifting screens Laboratory sifting equipment
Spades Spades
Spectrophotometers Spectrophotometers
Stainless steel scissors Laboratory scissors
Stainless steel spatulas Laboratory spatulas
Stainless steel tweezers Laboratory tools
Steam sterilizers Steam autoclaves or sterilizers
Steel measuring tape Tape measures
Thermocyclers Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers
UV forensic goggles Goggles
Ultraviolet UV camera lens filters Camera lenses or filters
Ultraviolet UV lights Ultraviolet UV lamps
Utility knives Utility knives
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
Prerequisite Qualification Category Education and Experience Level
Related Work Experience None
Required Level of Education Bachelor's Degree
On-Site or In-Plant Training Up to and including 1 month
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
Alternate Job Title(s)
Ballistic Expert
Ballistic Technician
Ballistics Expert
Computer Forensics Technician
Crime Lab Technician
Crime Laboratory Analyst
Crime Scene Analyst
Crime Scene Examiner
Crime Scene Investigator
Crime Scene Technician
Crime Specialist
Criminalist Technician
DNA Analyst (Deoxyribonucleic Acid Analyst)
Detective-Crime Scene Investigations
Dna Analyst
Drug Analysis Unit Forensic Scientist
Evidence Technician
Fingerprint Classifier
Fingerprint Expert
Fingerprint Technician
Firearms Examiner
Forensic Analyst
Forensic Ballistics Expert
Forensic Chemist
Forensic Computer Examiner
Forensic Document Examiner
Forensic Engineer
Forensic Investigator
Forensic Science Examiner
Forensic Science Manager
Forensic Science Technician
Forensic Scientist
Forensic Services Technician
Forensic Specialist
Forensic Technician
Forensic Toxicologist
Handwriting Expert
Identification Technician
Keeler Polygraph Operator
Latent Fingerprint Examiner
Latent Print Analyst
Latent Print Examiner
Lie Detector Operator
Polygraph Examiner
Polygraph Operator
Trace Evidence Technician
Wildlife Forensic Geneticist
CompGeo Occupation Group: Legal
Job Family: Law
Benchmark Title: Forensic Science Technicians
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