Forensic Scientist

A forensic scientist, must be accurate, methodical and thorough in their investigations.

Patience, attention to detail and problem-solving skills are very important.

Although you will spend large amounts of time routine testing in laboratories, you must also be prepared to visit disturbing murder scenes, or to identify the drug taken in a fatal overdose.

Good communication skills are very important. In court, you need to be able to explain your findings clearly to lawyers, jurors and the public. You may also be cross-examined.

A Forensic Scientist has a large responsibility for examining substances carefully and accurately and presenting detailed results clearly.

They must keep up to date with technical developments.

To be a Forensic Scientist, the minimum academic qualification is an honours degree (level 8) in an area such as chemistry, analytical science or an appropriate biological subject such as biochemistry, biology or molecular biology, or an equivalent qualification.

Most forensic scientists will also have a postgraduate qualification in forensic science, and may also have done further study in a forensic-related subject such as genetics ore advanced analytical methods for example.

A formal qualification in forensic science is not always required as all new staff members will be fully trained on the job.

In Ireland, all staff employed at the Forensic Science Laboratory (Forensic Science Ireland) are civil servants.