Forensic science might not be as popular as other branches of science. But, with an increase in crime, courses in forensic science are gaining considerable interest. Forensic science is the use of scientific-based knowledge and techniques to detect crime or carry out crime investigations using laboratory tests and analysis. Forensic science involves physics, chemistry, psychology, biology (and botany), and digital & cyber forensics. Earlier we have discussed the popular career paths in forensic science. In this article, we will discuss how to make a career in forensic science or how to become a forensic scientist in India.
How to Become a Forensic Scientist in India
by Parinita Gupta
Forensic Science is a disciple of science used to analyze physical crimes and their evidence. It is used around the world to protect public health, enforce laws and regulations, and resolve civil disputes. Forensic science utilizes many scientific and mathematical techniques to give a conclusion to a crime. Forensic scientists work at local, state, and government levels.
This career is for people with excellent communication skills, as well as the ability to notice even the tiniest details. A forensic scientist or a forensic science expert must be skilled and have an interest in interpreting scientific evidence and data.
Required Qualifications & Training to Become a Forensic Scientist
Undergraduate Course (3 years):- B.Sc. in Forensic Science
Bachelor’s degree program is a 3- 4 years degree program with an average of 120 semester credit hours of work. The course curriculum includes the subjects like Criminal Procedure and Evidence, Crime Victim Studies, Constitutional Issues in Criminal Procedures, Fingerprint Analysis, Crime Scene Investigation, and Theories of Crime Causation, etc.
Students with a bachelor’s degree in Forensic science hold entry-level positions like forensic science technicians, crime scene investigators, or forensic pathologists with an average salary of Rs 3 – 4 lakhs per annum. To join an undergraduate course in Forensic science the applicant must complete his/her high school or diploma course at least 50% of the overall percentile.
Post Graduate Courses (2 years):- M.Sc. in Forensic Science or PG Diploma in Forensic Science
A Master’s degree in forensic science prepares individuals for advanced positions within the forensic science industry. It typically has 32 – 40 credit hours which consists of core subjects like drug analysis, criminalistics, biological evidence, DNA analysis, trace evidence, Blood splatter patterns, toxicology, etc.
Graduates should have at least a 3.0 GPA to join MSc in India. Such candidates can hold senior-level jobs in various departments like crime labs, police departments, and governmental agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration, hospital labs, medical examiner’s offices, and pharmaceutical companies.
Doctoral Course (3 years):- Ph.D. in Forensic Science or M.Phill. in Forensic Science
A doctorate degree is mandatory if an individual wants to seek a lecturing job or go for research or opt for any kind of advanced leadership position in Forensic sciences.
Core subjects include Forensic Instrumental Analysis, Advanced Forensics, Physical Evidence Concepts, Controlled Substance Analysis, Forensic Laboratory Management, and Research Design in Forensic Science, Pattern, and Law and Forensic Sciences.
To join the doctoral courses aspirant have to complete his/her master’s degree and have to get at least a 3.0 GPA.
An aspirant can pursue his/her specialization course in the fields like Forensic Biology, Forensic Serology, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Toxicology, Forensic Ballistics, Forensic Entomology, Forensic Botany, etc. in the Forensic science field.
A career in Forensic Science after MBBS
It’s also possible to become a Forensic Scientist with an MBBS background. After finishing MBBS, students can pursue MD in Forensic Science.
Top Colleges for Forensic Science
Top Forensic Science Colleges in India
- FS Indian Education Department, Pune
- Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
- Department of Forensic Sciences (Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University), Agra
- Institute of Forensic Science, Mumbai
- Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science (LNJN NICFS), New Delhi
- Institute of Forensic Sciences (Gujarat Forensic Sciences University), Gandhi Nagar
- Centre for Cyber Forensics and Information Security (University of Madras), Chennai
- Government Institute of Forensic Science, Aurangabad
- Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology, and Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad
- St. Xavier’s College (University of Mumbai), Mumbai
- Bundelkhand University, UP
- Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), New Delhi
- Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar
- Institute of Forensic Science & Criminology (Panjab University), Chandigarh
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- Amity University (Amity Institute of Forensic Sciences)
Top Universities for Forensic Science Abroad
- UC Davis
- George Washington University
- Michigan State University
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Texas A&M University
- George Mason University
- University of Florida
- Durham University
- University College London
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- University of Dundee
- University of Glasgow
- University of Central Lancashire
- Coventry University
- University of Liverpool
- Trent University
- Laurentian University
- Auckland University of Technology
- University of Technology Sydney
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Deakin University
- National University of Singapore
- University of Amsterdam
Internships in Forensic Science in India
While studying (bachelor or master), it is important to pursue suitable internships on the side to put the theoretical knowledge to test as well as gain immense industry exposure.
You can check out the following links for internships in India:
- Government Institute of Forensic Science (Aurangabad)
- FSL (Aizwal)
- IFS (Pune)
- BFI (Delhi-NCR)
- FIT (Delhi-NCR)
Required Skills to Become a Forensic Scientist in India
Forensic science technicians should have the skills like Collecting, identifying, classifying, and analyzing the physical evidence related to criminal investigations. An Aspirant should have strong Technical Skills, Analytic skills, Keen observations and knowledge of various fields in science which helps in identifying the evidence, gathering the important information to arrest the culprit and interrogating them regarding the crime.
Job Prospects in the Field of Forensic Science
There is no place in the world that does not require forensic scientists. Demand is normally directly proportional to the crime rate in a particular area. In India, the major urban centers tend to have a higher demand for forensic scientists. Mumbai has the highest number of employed forensic technicians in the country.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was reported that there is about 11% projected job growth for forensic sciences (2021 – 2031) and most of the job prospects are seen in the government sector in the USA.
Top Job Profiles in Forensic Science
In India, most of the candidates serve the law enforcement agencies like investigation services, police, and legal systems of both central and state governments. Most of the aspirants prefer to join the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) etc. Other than these two there are many more other job roles from various departments like –
Forensic Pathologists: Forensic pathologists help in determining the time and cause of death in police cases.
Forensic Anthropologists: Forensic Anthropologists help in the identification of individuals for the cases like murders or disasters like plane crashes, explosions, fires, etc. Forensic Anthropologist also helps in knowing the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of the dead person.
Clinical Forensic Medicine Experts: Clinical Forensic experts work as the examiner of victims or a dead person who have injuries while committing a crime and provide certain conclusions regarding the time of the crime.
Forensic Serology Experts: They help in analyzing blood groups, blood samples, and other body fluids and perform DNA tests to identify the victim of the crime.
Forensic Chemists: Forensic chemists help in the detection and identification of traces and evidence of illicit drugs that are used in certain cases like explosions and gunshot residues etc.
Forensic Linguists: Forensic linguists analyses the content or the statements of written or oral statements of all the victims, culprits etc. collected by the police and investigators.
Toxicologist: Professionals with qualifications in chemistry or biochemistry work in police departments while detecting and identifying the drugs, poisons, toxin levels, etc. in the body.
Forensic Expert/ Scientists: Forensic scientists work as part of evidence teams and also work with the police and investigators while investigating the crime to get major crime evidence.
Major Recruiters of Forensic Science Graduates
- Intelligence Bureau (IB)
- Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
- Central Govt. Forensic Sciences Labs
- Quality Control Bureau
- Police Department
- Private Detective Agencies
- Law Firms
Salaries of a Forensic Scientist
Various job roles in Forensic science area in Central government, State government and Local government can earn an average salary of $107,810 – $57,240 per year. In the private sector, Starting salary in Forensic science field starts from RS. 3 lakhs – 4 lakhs per annum. An experienced candidate can get about Rs. 6 lakhs – Rs. 8 lakhs per annum.
In India, a senior scientific assistant can earn over Rs 30,000 a month; whereas, a district scientific officer, who is at par with the District Superintendent of Police, can earn around Rs. 54,000 per month.
In the US, forensic scientists, on average, earn US$25.75 per hour and annually, they may earn a salary of around US$52,000. However, it is important to note that earnings may vary considerably depending on your level of training and education, and your area of specialization and location.
In other foreign countries, a candidate can earn an average salary of $97,400 per year. The Lowest salary that can be earned in abroad is about $33,860 per annum.
Parinita Gupta is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer. She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well. You can follow her on Twitter.
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