Choosing a Career

Request Career BrochuresSo You Want to Be a Forensic Scientist!

A guide to the many possibilities for satisfying life choices of careers combining science and service in the interests of society, justice and public safety. 
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What is Forensic Science?

The word forensic comes from the Latin word forensis: public; to the forum or public discussion; argumentative, rhetorical, belonging to debate or discussion. 

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What Do Forensic Scientists Do?

The forensic sciences form a vital part of the entire justice and ­regulatory system. The forensic scientist's goal is the ­evenhanded use of all available information to determine the facts and, subsequently, the truth.

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What's a Forensic Scientist?


A forensic scientist is first a scientist. When he applies his scientific knowledge to assist juries, attorneys, and judges in understanding science, he is a forensic scientist.   

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Kinds of Forensic Science: Discipline Sections Within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences


:: Criminalistics :: Digital & Multimedia Sciences :: Engineering Sciences
:: General :: Jurisprudence :: Odontology :: Pathology/Biology 
:: Physical Anthropology :: Psychiatry & Behavioral Science 
:: Questioned Documents :: Toxicology

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How Do I Become a Forensic Scientist?

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How Much Money Will I Make?


Income in the forensic sciences varies greatly depending upon your degree, your actual job, where you work, and how many hours you work.  Essentially every branch or forensic science offers opportunity for ­personal growth, career advancement, and increasing financial ­compensation. 

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Where Will I Work?


Forensic scientists work in laboratories, at crime scenes, in offices

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Web links: See more resources HERE.

For information about the folks who brought you this information, the Forensic Sciences Foundation, Incorporated, click HERE.

Please direct all questions/comments to Sonya Bynoe at the AAFS Office at

For a list of colleges and universities who offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in forensic science within the United States as well as internationally, click HERE.

Produced for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences by:

The Forensic Sciences Foundation, Inc.
410 N. 21st Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
(719) 636-1100
Fax (719) 636-1993

Betty Layne DesPortes, JD, Chair, Board of Trustees
Anne Warren, BS, Executive Director

Gil Brogdon, MD
Carla Noziglia, MS

The Forensic Sciences Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit tax exempt organization under
Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Copyright © 1996-2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.