The following table contains links to sites where forensic science jobs are posted. Only four states are listed so if you are interested in others, go to that state government home page and check either employment opportunities or find a page for the State Patrol, State Police, or Department of Public Safety. Larger cities and some counties (such as Los Angeles County) will also have forensic laboratories, so search out those that interest you. The EWU program does have sources for internships, but many of the laboratories listed below can accommodate interns as well. Check with you advisor for more information.
Private labs, particularly those testing for DNA, are springing up almost daily. Use an internet search engine to expand on the few listed below.
A few words of advice on finding the ideal job:
- Start early, at least six months before you graduate, and preferably a year before.
- Jobs don't come to you. Take the initiative and make your own breaks. No one else is going to do it for you.
- Be flexible and seek jobs in different geographical areas. Most forensic lab facilities are found in cities and your will want to (or may be required to) live close-by.
- Work closely with your advisor on applications, resumes, and cover letters.
- For a forensic position, you will be REQUIRED to pass a background check and in many cases must take a polygraph test. If that presents a problem, don't apply. Fair or not, this is the way it is.
- Use email, phone, and letter to communicate with lab directors and other contacts listed in the applications. Be polite and professional but don't be afraid to ask questions.
- Have realistic expectations of salary. Comparison shop and take into account the cost of living. A starting salary of $40,000 would be great for Spokane but not enough to live on in a place like San Francisco. Since most forensic jobs are state or federal, there isn't a lot of negotiation room on pay scales. This is not the profession to go into to get rich.
- Finally, be adventurous, be patient, be flexible, and trust your instincts. Your first job should be challenging and fun. With a sensible approach and attitude during the search, your can find the right one for you.