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

Forensic Chemist

Jump to:

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.

.

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.

.

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.

.

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.

 

.

Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
11.30.2017
The University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals, a division of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Assistant Chemist. This position is responsible for qualitative and quantitative chemical...
12.13.2017
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...
12.13.2017
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...
12.13.2017
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...
12.13.2017
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...
12.13.2017
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...
12.13.2017
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...
05.01.2017
Responsible for providing and coordinating interdisciplinary patient care utilizing the nursing process. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Assesses the physical, psychological, social and cultural dimensions of patients according to...
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...
12.11.2017
REQUIRED: RN 2 Years Experience Required Must be licensed by the state of Virginia as a Registered Nurse. This position requires the candidate to work a minimum of 2-8 hour shifts every 4 weeks for the limbo requirements. Additional hours...
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...
09.29.2017
Current State license or certificate Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you willing to travel? Do you have healthcare experience? Do you have reliable transportation? **This position will support Parkview Occupational Health in...
09.29.2017
Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you comfortable using a computer? Are you willing to travel? Do you have a minimum of two years of experience? Do you have reliable transportation? **PRN, As Needed for our North, Noble,...
09.29.2017
PRN position Summary: Operates diagnostic imaging equipment and performs diagnostic imaging procedures in accordance with department policy and procedures. Operates within the "Standards of Ethics" of the American Registry of...
  1. ASSISTANT CHEMIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    The University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals, a division of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Assistant Chemist. This position is responsible for qualitative and quantitative chemical...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. Registered Nurse-UB Pool - Forensic Nurse Examiner SANE Charlottesville, VA University of Virginia Health System
    Responsible for providing and coordinating interdisciplinary patient care utilizing the nursing process. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Assesses the physical, psychological, social and cultural dimensions of patients according to...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. RN II Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    REQUIRED: RN 2 Years Experience Required Must be licensed by the state of Virginia as a Registered Nurse. This position requires the candidate to work a minimum of 2-8 hour shifts every 4 weeks for the limbo requirements. Additional hours...
  12. 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...
  13. Office LPN-POHC Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    Current State license or certificate Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you willing to travel? Do you have healthcare experience? Do you have reliable transportation? **This position will support Parkview Occupational Health in...
  14. Medical Assistant - ST-POHC Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you comfortable using a computer? Are you willing to travel? Do you have a minimum of two years of experience? Do you have reliable transportation? **PRN, As Needed for our North, Noble,...
  15. POHC Rad Tech - ST Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    PRN position Summary: Operates diagnostic imaging equipment and performs diagnostic imaging procedures in accordance with department policy and procedures. Operates within the "Standards of Ethics" of the American Registry of...