Hi all. First post. Love this site.
I am thinking of making a mid-life career change to some kind of forensic investigator. There is a certificate from the local junior college in crime scene investigation. 30 hours, ten classes including an internship.
I'm 42. I have a BA in psychology and a MS in clinical psychology.
Do you imagine that this will be qualified enough to join a local police department as a crime scene investigator of some kind? You know, tasks like collection of evidence and testimony. I would kinda hate to take that many classes in someting so specific only to find out I'm not getting any doors opened with that certificate.
Hi I am a similar boat. I am 42 and recently lost my job. However, I acquired a Graduate Professional Certificate in Forensic Science back in 99. I tried to get a forensic or other related job afterwards with no such luck. Since I am unemployed I figure I give another try, why not right you only live once? It's just that I stopped looking cause I was not getting any younger and need to fulfill financial obligations which have been an ongoing one. My last job was very good to me financially to help me dig out of a lot of debts and get current in bills. My linkedin profile is https://www.linkedin.com/in/scarlett-cameron-38108151 if you want to get connected.
I find that connecting with people helps but the field is still political and not many agencies accept civilians as most preference goes to law enforcement. I tried many times to apply to my state's police and could not pass the written. I was told that basically once in I had to do patrol for 2 years, then test into the department and be put on a waiting list with openings going to those with seniority.
The one thing I remember the most in my forensics training is SPECIALIZATION and get CERTIFICATION in it. Also apply to associations, however, you need to be actively working in the field to be in those from my understanding. Plus you need to pay dues. Also you need to get experience in the field even if if that means a non paying internship or low paying job. However, I have non paying internships including my training.
It's a tough field to get into but well worth if you can not only get your foot in the door but shove it open so you can get in, lol.
Have you connected with anyone in LinkedIN and join any groups? Please feel free to peruse my connections and groups.
There are over 250 jobs listed in the employment opportunity page of the Crime Scene Investigator Network. Look through the job listings to see what the different agencies require in education.
My advice is to decide where you want to work, find out what they require in education, and then get that level of education.
You can sign up for a daily email of new CSI and Forensic Science job postings. The email alerts go out several times a week featuring new jogs that have been posted. Or you can sign up on twitter and receive the new job post alerts that way. Sign up at http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/jobalerts.html
Here is a tip if you are having trouble getting a job: Apply for a "related" job, such as a Forensic Autopsy Technician, Evidence Custodian, Property Officer, Community Service Officer, etc. This can be a way to "get your foot in the door" or gain on-the-job experience that will help in getting the job you want later.
To get in this career field you may find you need to move to a different location to get an entry level job. But once you have worked a while in that entry level position you will have the experience required for other jobs.