Occupation Information table
Overview: Criminalists use scientific techniques to analyze physical evidence from a crime. They use chemical techniques to identify samples of suspects' hair, tissue, blood and bones. They analyze the crime scene, make impressions of shoes, tires, etc. and testify in court.
Duties: They perform chemical analyses of specimens of human fluids and tissues to establish the identity of persons involved in a criminal case.

Perform microscopic analysis of fibers taken as samples from the suspect's clothing and compare it with fibers found at the crime scene.

Determine what arguments a suspect's defense lawyers can bring up in a court trial. They perform tests needed to establish the person's guilt or innocence.

They present evidence in court to either support or contradict a suspect's alibi. Describe the tests performed and the degree of accuracy or reliability of the findings.

Degree(s): A.S./B.S. QCC/John Jay Dual/Joint Sciences for Forensics 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is expected have little or no change from 2018 to 2028. For comparison, the average growth rate for all occupations over the same time period is projected to be 5% to 8%.
Salary Range (National Average): $33,000 to $40,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: State and federal agencies that employ criminalists seek those with a master's degree or Ph.D. in forensic science and criminalistics. Course training should include laboratory pathology, biochemistry, criminology and criminal justice. State licensing is generally required.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way they do.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Using scientific methods to investigate and conduct experiments.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
  • Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.
Recommended Values:
  • Create new ideas, programs, things, or anything else not previously developed by another person.
  • Being involved in helping other people in a direct way either individually or in a small group.
  • Having a routine job where the duties are very predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.