Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

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Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

Anum
Hi everyone.

I've been looking for a position as a Forensic Scientist in ANY state for the past year but I've had no luck. I was wondering if you guys can offer an tips or help me out if you know anyone who works in the field. I have a bachelors in chemistry and a masters in pharmacology so I'm ideally looking for a drug analyst position but I'll consider anything at this point. It's very frustrating for me because I realize I don't have any experience "in the field" because I didn't exactly go to school for this but I have all the background and knowledge (TONs of lab work, research, etc.) I'd need to do a good job. But companies don't even consider you if you say you have zero experience, which leaves me back at square one. I have tried to look for internships as well but since I'm not a student anymore, there is nothing I can apply for. I am really, really passionate in this area and I'd love for just a chance to show my passion at an interview (none so far) at least. This is not something I'd like to "try" or anything, I want a career as a  forensic scientist because I enjoy combining science with crime. If anyone can help me out in any way possible, please let me know.

Thank you.
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Re: Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

Jeff
I've been applying for jobs also in forensic but so far I have no luck despite of me having two forensic internships. I would recommend that you volunteer in any crime laboratory within your area. This is the only way that you can gain experience in forensic science.  Be patient and Good luck!
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Re: Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

Anum
Thanks so much for your advice, Jeff. I'll definitely look into that!
Jay
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Re: Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

Jay
In reply to this post by Anum
Anum: I can't speak to the prevalence of drug analyst positions, as that is not my specific field, but I do understand your frustration in trying to find a position with no experience.  I have a B.A. and M.S. in Criminal Justice with emphasis in forensics and it took over 4 years and 200 applications before I got hired.  You mentioned you were looking anywhere, and I do think that helps because some individuals are pretty resistant to leaving home.  I moved 1600 miles away for my first gig, which was with a Sheriff's Office in Florida.  I'd tend to say that many of the civilian forensics/crime scene positions in the eastern U.S. are entry-level.  However, that is not to say that an agency wouldn't hire one person over the other with the same credentials but one with experience--it makes sense.  My first crime scene job provided great experience, and I found that after only a year or so of experience, I was much more marketable.  I then got hired on by the agency I'm at now, this time 3000 miles away from Florida and in the western U.S. where a lot of the jobs aren't as much entry-level.

I can't provide you with much input, as I think you're going about it the right way.  I didn't have internship experience either, and it was too late for me as well and I think it would have definitely helped.  Volunteering is something you may consider, at least to get your name out there.  As was suggested, find a local agency/lab that you're interested in and see what they offer.  My agency utilizes many volunteers, although none in the lab or evidence because of chain-of-custody reasons.  Regardless, it's a good resume booster and will help get your name out there.  Best of luck!
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Re: Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

Anum
Jay -

Thanks so much for your comment, it was truly insightful. I figured this field was competitive (but then again, which field isn't?) but it was quite a shock to me when you mentioned it took you 4 years to get hired! Incredible. This actually gives me hope because now I know that however long it takes, I will eventually get there in the end. I didn't know that the positions in the east coast were mostly entry level so since that's exactly where I live, this is good news. The volunteering thing has definitely intrigued me and I am actively looking into that.

Thanks again for your help, it means a lot to someone like me to find out that others have gone through the same thing but were successful in the end.
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Re: Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

Yaya
Hello Anum. Did you have any luck finding a volunteer position in a crime lab? That is exactly what I want to do. I am currently studying Forensic Investigations and want to start having experience in the field. I also live in the east coast. If you already find it, I appreciate if you could help me telling where can I find it (any website, agency, etc.). Thanks!
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Re: Looking for Entry Level Forensic Scientist position

Sknappa2s
In reply to this post by Anum
I also think being involved in organizations will help you with network opportunities.  Check out the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.  It is not a college per se but it is an organization that certifies people in the forensic field. The phone number is 800-423-9731, ask for Shellie.