A criminalist is often called Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)


Criminalist Career


What is a criminalist? 

A criminalist or Crime Scene Investigator scientific and technical forensic analysis of physical evidence from criminal cases. The functions of a criminalist will vary by level, but may include the following:

Examines, compares, and analyzes various types of physical evidence from criminal cases to laboratory QA/QC standards using accepted scientific principles and techniques, and accurately interprets the results. 

Processes, analyzes and interprets crime scenes utilizing measurement, sketching, blood pattern analysis, still and video photography, fingerprinting, and other forensic techniques; recognizes, documents, collects, packages, and transports physical evidence to a forensic crime laboratory for scientific and technical examination.

Assists the medical examiner’s office in identifying deceased persons through fingerprints, photographing and fingerprinting deceased crime victims to aid in investigations, and receiving medical examiner’s evidence and submitting it to the laboratory.

To be considered for a job in the criminal field, such as a Crime Scene Investigator you will most likely need a college degree in criminal justice or in science.




$4,072 to $5,056, $5,328 to $6,619, and $5,598 to $6,954. Appointments from the eligible list are usually made to the lowest pay grade. However, candidates with at least 18 months of full-time paid professional experience as a Criminalist (Forensic Chemist) may be considered for appointment to the second pay grade. City of (Los Angeles)

A career in criminal profiling is also often grouped in this job category.


Other duties of a criminalist (Crime Scene Investigator)


Processes clandestine drug manufacturing laboratories by safely terminating chemical processes, dismantling laboratory components, documenting and collecting evidence, transporting evidence to a laboratory, and coordinating safe and legal disposal of chemicals and materials.

Maintains complete documentation and files of all crime scene and laboratory analysis; prepares laboratory examination reports for law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

Meets with, advises, educates and assists investigators and prosecutors in furthering criminal investigations and in preparing cases for trial by providing guidance on the meaning and applicability of the results of forensic analysis of physical evidence.

Complies with discovery orders and other orders of the court.

Testifies as a forensic expert in court and administrative hearings concerning the results of scientific and technical examination of crime scenes and physical evidence; prepares court exhibits as necessary.

Researches scientific literature and forensic methodologies and develops new or improved techniques to use in the analysis of physical evidence or examination of crime scenes; writes technical protocols and laboratory policies and procedures.

Trains, or assists in training, agency criminalist, agents, forensic student interns, and other Oklahoma law enforcement officers and prosecutors, including providing instruction in CLEET basic and advanced classes.

Maintains and develops a high level of scientific and technical skill by attending schools, seminars, conferences, technical meeting, and college courses; reviews scientific journals, publications, research papers, and textbooks.

Operates, maintains, calibrates, services, programs, repairs and maintains required documentation on scientific laboratory equipment and instrumentation of various types.

Represents the agency in various committees and professional organizations; makes presentations to civic, educational, professional, law enforcement and other interested groups.

Develops and maintains effective professional communications and working relationships with co-workers, agency supervisors and administrators, outside law enforcement officers, other crime laboratory personnel, prosecutors and professional organizations.


A Criminalist or Crime Scene Investigator


is subject to call at any hour and may work under unpleasant and adverse conditions, including high places, dangerous locations, and in proximity to dead bodies and biological and chemical hazards, in order to investigate crime scenes.

Criminalist | Criminalistics | Criminal Investigator Career | Criminal Profiling Career