Forensic Chemist - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Forensic Chemist

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Job Description


Forensic chemists apply chemistry and forensic toxicology to the legal world by providing accurate and informed data to law enforcement, providing much-needed evidence in criminal matters.

Their position involves analyzing and identifying non-biological trace substances found at the crime scene, and/or matching a sample to known material.

Drugs and controlled substances taken from crime scenes or extracted from the human body are also analyzed for identification.

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Responsibilities

 

Forensic chemists use a wide array modern lab equipment to test samples brought to them by law enforcement, using methods like gas chromatography, x-rays, infrared, microscopy, and ultraviolet (UV) to scientifically make assessments.

Most often, forensic chemists are unaware of the origin of the sample they're testing prior to analysis. They're sometimes called to court to speak about their findings and defend the conclusions they've drawn as well.

Forensic chemists also have administrative responsibilities, including:

  • Overseeing and ensuring compliance with federal regulations.

  • Collecting and inputting data into relevant databases.

  • Developing and sustaining high quality standards and operating procedures.

  • Providing a connection between criminal investigators and the laboratory.

  • Coordinating with the forensic team around common goals.

  • Reporting their findings through accurate and thorough documentation.

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perceptiveness

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

A laboratory is the usual place where forensic chemists do their work. They must use complicated testing technology correctly and are called on to sit or stand for extended periods each day.

Technological devices must be kept clean and properly adjusted to produce accurate results, and the forensic chemist needs to handle and document evidence correctly, plus always work in a scientifically correct and thorough manner.

Many forensic chemists work for local, state, or federal governments. Since they need to testify in court, they must have the communications skills to accurately detail their findings in a way an ordinary juror can understand.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
02.23.2018
The Forensic Support Technician position is located at out Center of Hope at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties The Forensic Support Technician assists with forensic patient care, vital signs, forensic sexual assault...
02.23.2018
The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) - Registered Nurse (RN) - Center of Hope position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties - The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) demonstrates performance consistent with professional forensic nursing...
02.23.2018
The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) - Registered Nurse (RN) - Center of Hope position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties - The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) demonstrates performance consistent with professional forensic nursing...
01.29.2018
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:
02.20.2018
This position is located at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center in Christiansburg, VA. The selected candidate would be split between CNRVMC Emergency Department and FNE, performing 16 hours of call per week with FNE and working 1-12 hour...
02.23.2018
The individual in this position is trained minimally at the state level in the performance of the medical forensic examination and is available on call for completing medical forensic examinations of individuals presenting with a history of...
12.04.2017
The SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program Coordinator assists with providing direction regarding education and prevention activities surrounding family and sexual violence for program hospital sites and communities. Participates in...
11.15.2017
- PHYSICAL SECURITY MANAGER - HOSPITAL POLICE DEPARTMENT (SEC000XJ) Job Description PHYSICAL SECURITY MANAGER - HOSPITAL POLICE DEPARTMENT-SEC000XJ Description Description of Job Responsibilities: 1. Departmental Information Services...
12.05.2017
The incumbent will provide a range of behavioral health services to patients within the Department of Mental Health Metro Boston psychiatric inpatient system. Services to be provided area are individual and group therapy, testing, forensic...
02.01.2018
- RN SANE CLINICAL NURSE II (PER DIEM) - EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT (PER00IHG) Job Description RN SANE CLINICAL NURSE II (PER DIEM) - EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT-PER00IHG Description SANE RN Per Diem needed for Emergency Department (ED) The UNC...
02.23.2018
The VCU Health System Stony Point Central Sterile Processing is seeking a full time Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe...
02.01.2018
Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Coordinator (Part-time 60% position) The Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team (JCSART) is a coalition of sexual assault nurse examiners, rape victim advocates,...
02.23.2018
VCU Health System's Trauma/ Medical Emergency is seeking a part time Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe environment;...
02.23.2018
VCU Health System's Trauma/ Medical Emergency is seeking a full time Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe environment;...
02.23.2018
VCU Health System's Trauma/ Medical Emergency is seeking a hourly Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe environment;...
  1. Forensic Support Tech - Center of Hope Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Forensic Support Technician position is located at out Center of Hope at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties The Forensic Support Technician assists with forensic patient care, vital signs, forensic sexual assault...
  2. Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) Registered Nurse (RN) - Center of Hope Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) - Registered Nurse (RN) - Center of Hope position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties - The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) demonstrates performance consistent with professional forensic nursing...
  3. Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) RN Center of Hope Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) - Registered Nurse (RN) - Center of Hope position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties - The Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) demonstrates performance consistent with professional forensic nursing...
  4. FORENSIC NURSE EXAMINER Cincinnati, OH TriHealth
    MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:
  5. Forensic Nurse Examiner Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    This position is located at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center in Christiansburg, VA. The selected candidate would be split between CNRVMC Emergency Department and FNE, performing 16 hours of call per week with FNE and working 1-12 hour...
  6. SAFE RN Portland, ME MaineHealth
    The individual in this position is trained minimally at the state level in the performance of the medical forensic examination and is available on call for completing medical forensic examinations of individuals presenting with a history of...
  7. SANE PROGRAM COORD Greenville, SC Greenville Health System
    The SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program Coordinator assists with providing direction regarding education and prevention activities surrounding family and sexual violence for program hospital sites and communities. Participates in...
  8. PHYSICAL SECURITY MANAGER - HOSPITAL POLICE DEPARTMENT Chapel Hill, NC UNC Health Care
    - PHYSICAL SECURITY MANAGER - HOSPITAL POLICE DEPARTMENT (SEC000XJ) Job Description PHYSICAL SECURITY MANAGER - HOSPITAL POLICE DEPARTMENT-SEC000XJ Description Description of Job Responsibilities: 1. Departmental Information Services...
  9. Special & Scientific Psychologist Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    The incumbent will provide a range of behavioral health services to patients within the Department of Mental Health Metro Boston psychiatric inpatient system. Services to be provided area are individual and group therapy, testing, forensic...
  10. RN SANE CLINICAL NURSE II (PER DIEM) - EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT Chapel Hill, NC UNC Health Care
    - RN SANE CLINICAL NURSE II (PER DIEM) - EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT (PER00IHG) Job Description RN SANE CLINICAL NURSE II (PER DIEM) - EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT-PER00IHG Description SANE RN Per Diem needed for Emergency Department (ED) The UNC...
  11. Materials Technician Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    The VCU Health System Stony Point Central Sterile Processing is seeking a full time Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe...
  12. SPECIALIZED CARE COORDINATOR Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Coordinator (Part-time 60% position) The Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team (JCSART) is a coalition of sexual assault nurse examiners, rape victim advocates,...
  13. Materials Technician Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Trauma/ Medical Emergency is seeking a part time Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe environment;...
  14. Materials Technician Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Trauma/ Medical Emergency is seeking a full time Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe environment;...
  15. Materials Technician Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's Trauma/ Medical Emergency is seeking a hourly Materials Technician. Under the supervision of a Nurse Manager, assists with a variety of indirect patient care activities to include maintaining a clean and safe environment;...