Skip to main content
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Careers in forensic science: Home

Web resources

American Academy of Forensic Sciences. This site includes a career information page and a site for young forensic scientists

Careers in Forensic Science from a commercial consulting firm gives a brief overview of the education, knowledge, and experience necessary for a career in forensic science. Links to the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors web site and the electronic discussion list for forensic science are also provided.

Carpenter’s Forensic Science Resources page provides definitions, other Web links and bibliographies for specialty disciplines within forensic science.

Crime Scene Investigations - from an officer of the Illinois State Police Bureau of Crime Scene Services is devoted solely to crime scene investigations. Choose Crime Scene Investigator from the main page for a detailed job description including working conditions, functions, knowledge, abilities, etc.

Forensic science careers at  Includes crime scene investigator, forensic biologist, forensic chemist, forensic odontology, forensic pathologist, and forensic toxicologist.

How to Become a Crime Scene Investigator -  explains, step-by-step, the process of becoming a crime scene investigator. It also lists salaries and educational requirements. 

Zeno's Forensic Site This site has an extensive array of links and some unique sources arranged by subspecialties such as DNA, hair and fiber, forensic chemistry, firearms, shoeprints and toolmarks, handwriting, forensic medicine, forensic entomology, and forensic anthropology. Site includes job search resources, conferences, and mailing lists.


Career guides

All in a day's work: Careers using science. (2007)
Electronic book

Career opportunities in forensic science. (2008).
Reference Desk HV8073 .E34 2008

Opportunities in forensic science careers. (2001).
Reference Desk HV 8073. C316 2001, also available as an electronic book.

 Opportunities in law enforcement and criminal justice careers. (2003).
Reference Desk HV 8143 .S86 2003
This career guide has five pages which describe the area of criminalistics and the crime lab. Different levels of job titles and the education necessary for them are discussed.

ederal jobs in law enforcement.
Reference Desk and Stacks HV 8143 .W347 2002
This directory of federal law enforcement agencies is arranged by government department. It identifies over 100 agencies and organizations. The mission, history, functions & activities, training opportunities and qualifications are provided for each agency. Agencies of particular interest for forensic science are: Law Enforcement Standards Laboratory, Army Criminal Investigation Command, Naval Investigative Service Command, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Technology Assessment Program, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the U.S. Secret Service.

General texts

General textbooks on criminal investigation or forensic science often contain a chapter describing the fields and methods of forensic sciences . Check the table of contents or index for the relevant sections. Most books on these subject are in the general library call numbers of HV 8073 and RA 1001.

 Criminalistics: An introduction to forensic science. (2015).
Reserve HV 8073 .S2 2015

Killer at large: Criminal profilers and the cases they solve! (2007).
Stacks HV6080 .B434 2007

The real world of a forensic scientist: Renowed experts reveal what it takes to solve crimes. (2009).
Reference HV8073. L394 2009


General Career Resources

General career resources can also be useful in exploring forensic careers. While most do not contain specific forensic science titles, much of the information presented under the general headings of biologist, chemist, toxicologist, psychologist, or science technicians can be applied to the forensic setting.

Occupational outlook handbook. (2007).
Reference HF 5381 .A1 O36 also on Web at
This handbook is published annually so it is very current. It describes careers, necessary qualifications, salary range and forecasts the viability of each career in the future.

Encyclopedia of careers and vocational guidance.  (2003).
Reference HF 5381 .E52 2003
This multi-volume set includes an article on crime laboratory technologists which gives the history, nature of work, requirements, advancement, outlook, and earnings for this job title. Refer to the index in volumes II and III to locate appropriate volume and page number for related job titles.


Computer forensics : cybercriminal, laws and evidence. (2015).
Reserve Textbook - KF8947.5 .M37 2015

Crimes against nature: Environmental criminology and ecological justice. (2008).
Stacks - HV6401 .W45 2008

Forensic botany: Principles and applications to criminal casework. (2005).
Stacks - QK46.5 .F67 F67 2005 

Forensic engineering reconstruction of accidents. (2002). 
Stacks - HV8079.55 .B76 2002

 Forensic nursing. (2006).
Stacks RA1155 .L96 2006

Underwater forensic investigation. (2006).
Stacks - HV8080 .D54 B44 2006

A day in the life of a poisons information center specialist.  (WHO - IPCS).

By Katherine B. Killoran, Ellen Sexton and Karen Okamoto