Forensic Science Degree Programs in Hawaii
No matter which criminal justice career interests you, you may rely on technology to get your day-to-day work done. This is particularly true in the field of forensic science, which has grown by leaps and bounds since it hit the scene.
Forensic science has made many aspects of crime solving much easier, not to mention its effects on the legal process. Forensic science has been used to solve cold cases that baffled investigators for years.
If you’re looking for a way to combine your love of science with your interest in a criminal justice career, forensic science could be the specialty for you.
Learn more about earning a forensics degree by contacting Hawaii schools below.
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Hawaii?
Forensic scientists have done a lot to conclusively solve crimes and bring peace to victims’ families. In fact, forensic scientists were recently able to identify the remains of previously unknown Pearl Harbor victims (Hawaii Magazine, 2016). The sailors and Marines aboard the USS Oklahoma during the 1941 attack had never been identified; thanks to advances in forensic science, remains were finally returned to families in 2016.
Minutes matter when a crime takes place; with forensic science, criminal investigators can solve crimes more quickly, save more victims, and ensure that justice is served.
Forensic Science Degrees in Hawaii
This is a science-heavy field that requires quite a bit of advanced study, particularly since many of the foundational aspects of forensic science change with each new technological development. Not only is it important to build a strong undergraduate or graduate understanding of forensic science, you may need to keep your knowledge fresh through continuing education credits and training seminars.
If you have an Associate’s degree or no postsecondary training, you may want to start your education with a Bachelor’s degree in forensic science. This four-year degree requires between 120 and 130 credits, and in many cases, includes an internship that provides you with hands-on experience in a forensic laboratory.
This degree combines general education with specialized forensic science coursework, offering a solid foundation for several forensic career paths and advanced study in this field.
Bachelor’s Degree in Forensics
- Physical Forensic Sciences
- Crime Scene Investigation
- CSI Laboratory
- Forensic Photography
- Forensic Biology
- Instrumental Analysis
Another option to consider is a Master’s degree in forensic science. You may need to meet fairly stringent requirements to be accepted to this type of program, since it explores extremely advanced concepts and requires a comprehensive understanding of various physical sciences.
Furthermore, prior experience in criminal justice is helpful at this level of study. Understanding the psychology of offenders, criminology, and crime patterns. While some schools accept students from various backgrounds of academic fields, some programs require that your Bachelor’s degree come from the field of criminal justice.
From start to finish, a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology takes about two years. You need at least 30 credits to graduate.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Psychology
- Courtroom Evidence
- Laboratory Management
- Forensic Chemistry
- Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
- Crime Scene Reconstructions
- Firearms, Tool Marks, and Ballistics
- Fingerprint Analysis
Forensic science, like other physical science fields, is extremely dependent on laboratory skills and techniques. Improper handling of evidence can lead to failed court cases, causing offenders to go free.
By the time you complete your forensic science training, you should be fully trained in laboratory procedures that maintain the integrity of evidence and follow Hawaii state standards.
For that reason, you may not be able to complete your degree entirely online. Many courses have a lab component or take place entirely in the laboratory, requiring several hours of in-person work each week.
Ready to find out how science can solve crime, put perpetrators behind bars, and bring justice to victims?
Get more information on how to become a forensic scientist by contacting the Hawaii schools listed below.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Hawaii
With one of the forensic science degrees listed above and plenty of laboratory experience, you may be ready to apply for forensic science job openings throughout Hawaii. Many graduates go on to work for law enforcement agencies, government agencies, and research facilities.
If you prefer working in a lab setting, you may become a forensic science technician. Professionals in this role earn an average of $54,660 per year in Hawaii (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Job openings for forensic science technicians are expected to increase 25% between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2016).
If you want to use your education in a law enforcement career, consider becoming a criminal investigator. Investigators are often first on the scene after a crime occurs, so an understanding of forensic evidence is essential. On average, Hawaii criminal investigators earn $96,450 per year (BLS, 2016). Job openings are expected to increase 2% by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2016).
Coroners are responsible for conducting autopsies and preparing reports on injuries, forensic evidence, causes of death, and other relevant information. In Hawaii, coroners claim an average income of $65,500 per year (BLS, 2016). From 2014 through 2024, demand for coroners may jump 2% in Hawaii (O*Net, 2016).
Depending on which part of Hawaii you live in, you may be one of several coroners scheduled in your county, or you may be the only one available for autopsies. The latter is common in smaller cities and rural counties. In this setup, you may need to respond to weekend and night calls if investigators need evidence collected immediately. In a larger urban area, you may switch weekends and nights with other coroners in your agency.
In any of these career paths, collaboration is essential. You must be able to work with professionals from different backgrounds and criminal justice agencies to ensure that evidence is collected properly, delivered to the right location, and stored appropriately.
This could be the year that you start working toward your ideal career. Explore the best forensic science colleges in Hawaii below.
Just get in touch with forensic science schools that interest you.
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