6 Steps to Become a Forensic Scientist in Canada

Here you’ll find all you need to know about working as a forensic scientist in Canada!

Have you considered becoming a Forensic Scientist in Canada? And what to expect if you decide to work as a Forensic Scientist. If this is something you’re interested in, this is the guide for you!

In general, forensic science is concerned with the application of scientific methods and processes to the investigation of crimes. Due to the fact that forensic science has evolved into an important aspect of the court system by supplying information for criminal and legal evidence, forensic scientists are in high demand in Canada.

Likewise, most scientific principles from several main scientific fields, such as dentistry, botany, DNA, engineering, and geology, are applied in this field. In this guide, we’ll show you how to become a forensic scientist in Canada and provide you with some of the steps on how to succeed in this field.

Who is a Forensic Scientist?

A forensic scientist is a term used to describe Criminalists and criminalistics and the field they work in. While forensic science occupations may not be exactly as they appear on television, they do play an important part in our judicial system.

Specifically, forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific evidence during the course of an investigation. While some forensic scientists go to the crime scene to collect evidence, others work in laboratories, analyzing materials brought to them by others.

Duties and Responsibilities of a forensic scientist

Undoubtedly, as a forensic scientist, the role you play is determined by your area of specialization, the organization, and the location of the task. Notably, a forensic scientist’s general duties and responsibilities are as follows:

  • They collect evidence from crime scenes
  • They examine physical evidence through physical and chemical analysis
  • Administering tests
  • Interpreting data from investigations and evidence
  • They prepare reports of findings
  • Testifying as a forensic scientist
  • Consulting for private investigations
  • They also perform autopsies
  • Using microscope examination techniques, mathematical laws, complex tools, and principles, scientific principles, and reference literature to analyze evidence.

In addition, if you’re interested in technology, a job in forensic science will allow you to use some fascinating equipment. Here are some of the tools you’ll need for the job:

  • Computer-aided (CAD) software
  • Biological evidence collection kits
  • Cameras
  • Photoimaging software
  • Footprint lifters

Why is forensic science a good career in Canada?

Certainly, if you’re looking for how to become a forensic scientist in Canada, you also need to know the reasons forensic science is a good career with prospects.

  • Each year, forensic scientists make an average salary of CAD $63,164, which is more than the earnings of many jobs in Canada.
  • There are many employers of forensic scientists in Canada such as hospitals, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), etc.
  • The whole of Canada has high demand for forensic scientists. Hence, finding a job as a forensic scientist in Canada will be quick.
  • You can set up your own forensic science practice in Canada.
  • Finally, the prospects of forensic scientists in Canada are excellent, which implies that it is a good career for you. As a matter of fact, employment opportunities for forensic scientists will increase by 16% by 2030.

Average salary for forensic scientists

Basically, forensic scientists earn an average of $65,396 per year in Canada. The value varies according to your level of education, experience, and location of employment. Sometimes, your speciality can also have a big impact on how much money you make.

Qualities you will need to succeed as a Forensic Scientist

Certainly, You’ll need specific qualities in every forensic science career to help you get the job done.

Communication: Solid communication skills are, basically, required because you will be called to testify in court and make reports.

Detail-oriented: Forensic science professionals also must be careful not to make mistakes and be able to detect even little changes.

Problem-solver: You’ll apply reasoning to solve problems, find facts, and solve challenges.

Composure: Occasionally, a terrible crime scene can be found. Forensic techs must be able to maintain a professional demeanour while still controlling their emotions.

Physical endurance: Many hours of standing and kneeling are required when working at a crime scene.

Workplaces for Forensic Scientists in Canada

  • Police departments
  • Sheriffs’ offices
  • District attorneys’ offices
  • Regional and state agencies
  • Medical examiners’ offices
  • Private companies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals
  • Toxicology labs
  • Federal law enforcement agencies such as the DEA and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); Health Canada and the Department of Justice.

Useful Tips on how to become a forensic scientist

Obviously, it is critical to acquire and improve the necessary abilities in order to become a forensic scientist. Find a career coach or mentor, or attend seminars and workshops to improve your abilities. You could also become a member of a group. The Canadian Society of Forensic Science is the premier professional organization for forensic practitioners, academics, researchers, and those in related fields.

To be more effective as a forensic scientist, follow these steps:

  • Firstly, reading scientific journals and articles about forensic science will keep you up to date on current forensic trends.
  • Secondly, continue your education and certificates. Obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in your chosen forensic specialty.
  • Lastly, attend gatherings like the yearly conferences of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science to build strong networks.

Six steps to become a forensic scientist in Canada

Follow these 6 steps to becoming a forensic scientist in Canada:

1. Earn a degree in forensic science

Various forensic science-focused courses are available at many post-secondary institutions. The minimum required is a bachelor’s degree, while some advanced roles demand a master’s or doctoral degree. Furthermore, some advanced specialist fields, such as forensic entomologists, demand advanced degrees and extensive experience.

Simultaneously, some institutions allow you to finish your studies and work at the same time to get experience. Other colleges offer forensic science as part of a multidisciplinary program. You might want to look into the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in forensic science (honours).
  • Bachelor of Art in forensics or, Bachelor of Science in forensic investigation.
  • And, a Bachelor of Art in forensic psychology and criminal justice.

2. Enroll in science-related classes

Definitely, you can also study a scientific-related course and have a solid understanding of your subject of science before becoming a forensic scientist. A four-year scientific degree with honours is commonly required of forensic scientists.

In addition, you could take molecular genetics, pharmacology, microbiology, physics, and toxicological science courses. However, because you specialize in the same subject, you should anticipate earning experience after these courses.

You can boost your job by learning mathematical analysis, statistical procedures, and writing. You should also have a solid understanding of research methodology, fieldwork processes, and legal issues, as well as how the criminal justice system operates.

3. Decide the field you want to specialize in

To work as a forensic scientist, you must first learn about the various areas of speciality accessible in this industry. Which professional path you choose is determined by the specialist area you choose.

4. Get some experience

The majority of job descriptions include experience criteria. Forensic Experts advocate local police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as sources of experience (RCMP). You could work in hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, or medical laboratories, for example. The following choices can assist you in gaining the requisite expertise to become a forensic scientist:

  • Become a member of the local police force.
  • Study a forensic science degree while working as a forensic scientist.
  • Enrol at a police academy in Canada.
  • Take advantage of forensic internships.
  • The chief coroner’s office is in charge of research.

5. Obtain a forensic science professional certification

You can get professional certification in a variety of fields to give yourself an edge over other candidates and raise your profile. Working as a forensic scientist does not necessitate certification. You might think about it to broaden your experience and put yourself in a position where potential employers can understand why you’re a good fit for the job. It may provide you with a competitive advantage over other candidates.

You can be certified in fields such as:

  • Crime scene reconstruction
  • Death investigation
  • Latent prints
  • Hairs and fibres
  • Forensic photography
  • Drug analysis
  • Drug chemistry
  • Fire debris analysis
  • Molecular biology
  • Paints and polymers

6. Create a résumé and start applying for jobs

After you’ve finished your studies and received your diploma, you’ll need to format your resume and cover letter. Then begin applying for jobs that you are interested in. An online job search portal such as Indeed is a great place to start. Before applying, make sure you know what kind of forensic scientist the business is seeking.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The following answers address some of the most common questions asked regarding becoming a forensic scientist:

Where can I work as a forensic scientist?

Forensic scientists can work for a variety of organizations, including:

  • The National Forensic Laboratory provides services in Ottawa, Edmonton, and Surrey.
  • National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau.
  • National DNA Data Bank in Ottawa etc.

What kind of education is required to become a forensic scientist?

Usually, Forensic scientists are commonly required a four-year science degree with honours in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related discipline.

Are forensic scientists similar to CSIs (crime scene investigators)?

No. Forensic scientists are not CSIs.

How long does it take to become a forensic scientist?

Typically, becoming a forensic scientist can take anywhere from four to seven years. Forensic scientists must have substantial education and training to attain this technical position.

Conclusion

To sum up, this guide is all about how to become a forensic scientist in Canada. Surely, becoming a highly skilled forensic expert is not a piece of cake. Follow diligently the above steps and tips to achieve your dream! Hope this article was helpful? Kindly share through the social media buttons below. Thank you!