How to Become a Forensic Scientist in 5 Steps

Get to Know How to Become a Forensic Scientist in Canada in Only Five Simple Steps!

If you’re in earnest to accomplish your career goal and seek for how to become a forensic scientist in Canada, you have a lot to learn here.

It is without doubt that forensic scientists are among the highest paid workers in Canada. They are helpful to law enforcement agencies with their investigations. Forensic scientists also work with diagnostic laboratories, the coroner’s office, and with healthcare facilities in order to examine different forms of evidence from crime scenes.

Indeed, the services of forensic scientists are in demand in Canada even as crime rate is very low across the country. They earn an average of $63,164 Canadian Dollars on a yearly basis. Forensic scientists have numerous job responsibilities that involve the use of highly advanced techniques and devices.

Exploring this article will let you know how to become a forensic scientist in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, or in any other Canadian province or territory.

Who is a forensic scientist?

Forensic scientist is a specialist that makes use of scientific theories and state-of-the-art technologies to investigate clues, and other evidence in crime scenes or to support investigations for law enforcement agencies. They enable evidence to be acceptable at the law court for judgments.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) code that covers forensic scientists in Canada is 2121.

Career fields of forensic scientists

The following are the categories of forensic science jobs in Canada.

  • Forensic science technicians: These experts specialize in collecting and examining evidence, as well as cataloging crime scenes via photo and notepad.
  • Fingerprint analysts: These specialists work in crime laboratories, as well as visits crime scenes to examine and assess fingerprints for further investigations.
  • Forensic psychologists: These experts work in prisons, government agencies, psychiatric hospitals, as well as in community health centers to formulate treatment plans for inmates.
  • Forensic specialists: These professionals evaluate evidence from dead bodies via different methods. Such evidence include bodily fluids, drugs, blood, and more.
  • Evidence technicians: These experts are in charge of gathering evidence, including specimens from crime scenes. Moreover, evidence technicians work on evidences, and keep them safely away from tampering.
  • Forensic investigators: These specialists handle the investigation of all evidence recovered from crime scenes. They use them in making statements about the crime.
  • Forensic pathologists: As postmortem specialists, forensic pathologists perform autopsies on dead bodies to find out the nature of the person’s death. Their services are handy in murder investigations.
  • Forensic engineers: These specialists investigate improper building structures that have caused a personal injury or loss of property.
  • Forensic accountants: These professionals handle criminal cases that have to do with mismanagement of funds. Forensic accountants also analyze financial records, including statements, as well as expose fraud cases.
  • Forensics managers: These experts supervise activities that support investigation of criminal cases. They also control all forensic activities in crime laboratories.
  • Forensic toxicologists: These specialists aid investigation by checking dead bodies for any sign of toxic substances like poisons.

Responsibilities of forensic scientists

As you’re learning how to become a forensic scientist in Canada, you should also know the most common duties and tasks performed by forensic scientists.

  • Visiting crime scenes to gather evidence
  • Finding out the basis of an offense or criminal action
  • Rendering aid with regard to criminal and civil litigation
  • Making use of information technology to keep records of evidence
  • Examining evidence to create hypotheses about a criminal offense
  • Preserving evidences and specimens obtained from crime scenes, as well as creating and maintaining its record for analysis.

Examples of these specimens include hairs and fibres, body fluids, skin flakes, firearm residue, among others.

Why is forensic science a good career in Canada?

If you’re looking for how to become a forensic scientist in Canada, you also need to know the reasons to forensic science being 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.

Steps to become a forensic scientist

If the question “how do I become a forensic scientist in Canada?” has been on your mind, the following steps will answer your question and help to fulfill your career goals.

  • Ensure that you’re educationally qualified
  • Decide on your career specialization in the forensic industry
  • Acquire relevant work experience
  • Try to obtain at least one professional certification
  • Start hunting for forensic science jobs

STEP 1. Ensure that you’re educationally qualified

On the steps on how to become a forensic scientist in Canada is to possess adequate education. It is necessary for you to have completed a Bachelor degree program from an accredited university. However, you need to have completed your graduate studies in order to take some higher job positions in forensic science.

Furthermore, the most common educational requirement to become a forensic scientist in Canada is a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree program with honours.

It is also essential for you to possess significant background in the judiciary system, fieldwork procedures, as well as in research methods.

The following are Bachelor degrees eligible for forensic science jobs in Canada.

  • BA in forensics
  • BA in forensic psychology and criminal justice
  • B.Sc in forensic science
  • B.Sc in forensic science (hons.)
  • B.Sc in forensic biology
  • B.Sc in forensic identification
  • B.Sc in forensic psychology (hons.)
  • B.Sc in forensic investigation (forensic science option)
  • B.Sc combined hons. in biochemistry and forensic science

STEP 2. Decide on your career specialization in the forensic industry

It is without doubt that forensic scientists have diverse specializations, which you need to know before making your decision on your career path.

Some of these include forensic psychology, forensic engineering, forensic accounting, forensic investigation, forensic management, forensic pathology, and forensic toxicology.

STEP 3. Acquire relevant work experience

It is often required for candidates of forensic science jobs to have prior work experience as a criterion to qualify for such jobs. Besides, many employers of forensic scientists in Canada require that their job candidates have previously worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Some of the ways to acquire work experience as a forensic scientist include working with a local police, healthcare facility, or with a diagnostic laboratory. Other ways include enrolling in internships or at the Canadian police college.

STEP 4. Try to obtain at least one professional certification

A large number of professional certifications are available for forensic scientists. This gives you an edge when applying for forensic science jobs in Canada.

Of course, your professional certification can focus on any area of forensics as it makes you more eligible for the job.

These include hairs and fibres, fire debris analysis, latent prints, forensic photography, death investigation, crime scene reconstruction, drug analysis, molecular biology, drug chemistry, etc.

Even though getting a professional certification is not necessary to work as a forensic scientist in Canada, it has great impact in improving the value of your CV.

STEP 5. Start hunting for forensic scientist jobs

The final step on how to become a forensic scientist in Canada is to gather all your credentials, create a compelling curriculum vitae and résumé, and start looking for jobs. There is surely a variety of ways to search for forensic science jobs across Canada.

One of them is to visit an employment website for job listings such as Indeed, Monster, Eluta.ca, Jobillico, Glassdoor, Workopolis, etc.  This is probably the best and easiest way to find forensic science jobs in Canada.

Make sure you critically examine the job descriptions and requirements posted by the employer on the site in order to improve your chances of getting the job.

Another way to find forensic science jobs in Canada is by reaching out to employment agencies in your area.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Check out some of the questions often asked concerning how to become a forensic scientist in Canada.

How long does it take to become a forensic scientist in Canada?

If you are yet to complete your first degree, it will take you up to four (4) years of study to become a forensic scientist in Canada as you have to complete a B.Sc degree program.

How much does a forensic scientist make a year in Canada?

According to Indeed, a job listings website, forensic scientists in Canada make an average salary of CAD $63,164 every year.

How much does a forensic scientist make in Ontario yearly?

Forensic scientists working in the Canadian province of Ontario will earn an average yearly income of CAD $63,383.

Conclusion

We hope that this article guides you on how to become a forensic scientist in Canada. Forensic science is really a profitable career with significant prospects. Making it your career path allows for no regret while you earn thousands of Canadian Dollars every month.

You can check out for our other posts on working, studying, visiting, living or becoming an immigrant in Canada.

Thanks for reading!