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How To Become A (CSI) Crime Scene Investigator

Updated on September 25, 2012


Law & Order, CSI, CSI NY, CSI Miami, if it has to do with Crime Scenes nine chances out of ten my eye balls are in front of the tube. Online education has become very popular today, what does it take to become a CSI? Can someone really become a CSI person by taking online courses? What is the starting salary for an CSI? We will talk about each of these points as we go along. I thought a class in criminology would be interesting. Boy, was I wrong--was not for me. It just so happen criminal behavior was one of the courses in my undergraduate study for Organizational Management. To my surprise I truly did not like the class, and learning about criminal thinking.

First lets take a look at what is Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)?

Actually a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) can vary depending on the position and the requirements that the particular unit is looking for.  For example;a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) can have the title of Criminalist I, II, or III.  This type of CSI can expect to examine evidence which includes a variety of physical evidence; blood,  urine, controlled substance, and firearms particles.  Other duties can include preparing written reports to document evidence, being prepared to talk about evidence with lawyers and other officers.

Other duties to include, but not limited to dedicating oneself to staying abrest of Forescin Scienceby attending conferences, on-going training, reading publications specifically dedicated to CSI and/or Forensic Science.

Other CSI Titles and Requirements

  • CSI-ET Evidence Technician(s)- Are the people and/or person responsible for collecting evidence. After collecting evidence they must be efficient in making sure all evidence has a receipt ticket. Receipt tickets are to be logged with the specific piece of evidence with time and date stamp and initial of the Evidence Technician. Evidence Technician(s) must be capable of meticulous record keeping in order to properly prepare evidence for court presentations. CSI-Evidence Technician(s) are also responsible for aiding in the evaluation of physical evidence. CSI-Evidence Technician(s) can also be called upon to testify in court when deemed necessary. CSI-ET(s) must meet all State and Federal guidelines, requirement as according to the State within the CSI-Evidence Technician reside.
  • CST Crime Scene Technician - Crime Scene Technician are responsible for taking photos, outlining the crime scene and documenting it as such. They work with some of the latest cutting edge equipment in forensic science. CST work with the police department, detectives and all law enforcement agencies to share information regarding a criminal investigation.
  • FI Forensic Investigator - These are the individuals who will make the determination of what is actually evidence. Forensic Investigators are highly regarded as an expert in giving testimony, and used during trials to explain in layman and/or scientific terms of their professional analysis of when and how the crime happened.
  • SOCO - Scene of Crime Officer - Protect the crime scene, look for footprints, fingerprints, inspect evidence of hairs, blood, or clothing fibers left behind by criminals and/or suspects.  Normally they are based in a police station.
  • Expected salary for Crime Lab Analyst beginning salary $17.00 per hour
  • Crime Scene Technician can earn from $22.00 - $37 per hour


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