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Forensic Science Programs in Nevada

The future of criminal justice rests in forensic science, which is evident when you look at how criminal investigation units are solving crimes throughout Nevada. While investigators still use their intuition and interviewing skills to draw information out of suspects, the use of forensic evidence is critical in cementing the role of perpetrators in criminal activity. Investigators use information gleaned from evidence to create accurate crime timelines and provide concrete proof about the presence of perpetrators at the scene of the crime.

Why not learn more about forensic science programs and find out how you can start a career in this field?

Get in touch with Nevada criminal justice programs today.

What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Nevada?

In many ways, forensic science has completely revolutionized the field of criminal justice. With recent advances in this field, professionals can solve crimes that would otherwise go undetected or unsolved.

In Nevada, forensic science was recently used to solve a crime that the perpetrator tried desperately to cover up (RGJ, 2017). Officials found human remains inside a burning car; with forensic evidence, they were able to identify the victim and place the perpetrator at the scene of the crime. This ongoing case has already lasted more than three months, representing a significant amount of time and effort on the part of investigators.

Forensic Science Degrees in Nevada

There are many schools in Nevada that offer forensic science degrees. As you compare different offerings, consider your current level of education and how much experience you have in the field of criminal justice.

If you have already studied criminal justice or a physical science at the postsecondary level, you may have a slight advantage over those who are entirely new to this field. If you haven’t pursued any postsecondary education until now, you may want to get started with an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree.

While an Associate’s program involves about two years of full-time study, a Bachelor’s program lasts approximately four years.

Associate’s-Level Forensic Science Classes

  • Crime Scene Technology: Explore the current technology used at crime scenes to collect evidence, take comprehensive photos, and start building a comprehensive timeline of events.

  • Crime Scene Safety: Navigating a crime scene may put you in contact with bodily fluids, weapons, and other dangers. Learn how to protect yourself and others while investigating a crime scene.

  • Introduction to Forensic Science: This course looks at the foundations of forensic science to help you understand the effects of this field, its limitations, and its potential growth in the future.

  • Latent Fingerprint Development: Lifting fingerprints from secondary surfaces is an important way of placing suspects at crime scenes. Learn more about this technology in this class and get experience with collecting and interpreting fingerprints.

  • Biological Evidence: While working with victims, you may collect a significant amount of biological evidence. Learn techniques for collecting evidence safely, processing it, and analyzing it.

Bachelor’s Degree Coursework in Forensic Science

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology: Many of the skills taught at this level focus on evidence gained from corpses and living victims. An understanding of anatomy and physiology provides a better knowledge of what happens during crimes and how it physically impacts victims.

  • Crime Scene Processing: Criminal justice agencies follow strict protocols to ensure that crime scenes are kept intact and uncontaminated. That is the focus of this class.

  • Pathophysiology: Understand how disease and injury can cause death. This provides you with the skills needed to examine bodies for cause of death.

  • Physical Evidence: Physical evidence may be gathered from a number of sources after the commission of a crime. Learn about the unique considerations of physical evidence and how it must be processed.

  • Instrumental Analysis: In the crime lab, work with different tools and equipment to process evidence. This course shows you how technology makes it much easier to analyze evidence.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in forensic science, Nevada students may choose to take their education to the next level with a Master’s degree.

You should plan on spending about two to three years completing a graduate degree. Hands-on experience is essential at this level of study, which is why many graduate programs require hundreds of hours of lab work.

At some schools, you also get the chance to complete an internship. This may allow you to start making connections in the industry.

Graduate Courses in Forensic Science

  • Law and Forensic Science: In any criminal justice career, it’s important to work within the confines of the law. Learn about the statutes that guide forensic science work in this course.

  • Mass Spectrometry: This course looks at an advanced technique for analyzing evidence and determining its contents. It relies on sorting chemical ions to understand the masses present within an evidence sample.

  • Pharmacology of Drug Addiction: Substance abuse may play a role in many of the crimes you cover as a forensic scientist. In this class, learn how drugs work within the body and how they break down over time.

  • Forensic Chemistry and Microscopic Evidence: Forensic chemistry allows investigators to analyze trace amounts of evidence, which is very beneficial for cases where evidence is limited. Learn how to analyze microscopic evidence in this class.

Earning a degree in forensic investigation can help you get started in a field you love.

Contact Nevada criminal justice schools to get started today.

Working as a Forensic Scientist in Nevada

Nevada is an extremely diverse state, so you may have many employment opportunities to consider as you get close to graduation. Job openings are often clustered around major metropolitan areas, particularly Las Vegas and Reno. Since these areas are major tourist attractions, they tend to see a significant amount of crime.

 Prompt analysis of evidence is key to ensuring that residents and visitors alike see justice served in a timely manner. However, outlying Nevada communities also have a growing demand for criminal justice professionals, so you may want to broaden your search area to cover more of the state.

Feel at home in a crime lab? You may want to become a forensic science technician. Forensic techs often handle multiple cases at once, ensuring that evidence is processed accurately and that results are sent to the right people. On average, they earn $73,210 per year in Nevada (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Demand is growing rapidly in this field, with an expected 34% increase in job openings between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

If you want a more hands-on role in crime solving, you may thrive as a criminal investigator. This puts you in more contact with the community and may involve combining your knowledge of forensic science with a broad understanding of criminal justice. The average salary for a Nevada criminal investigator is $80,950 per year (BLS, 2017). Job openings are expected to swell 8% through the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

Crime labs often staff coroners to guarantee that human remains are analyzed and processed promptly. Coroners have specialized training in the conduction of autopsies, so they’re experts in handling natural and unnatural causes of death. In Nevada, they claim an average income of $63,250 per year (BLS, 2017). By the year 2024, job openings for coroners may jump 14% (O*Net, 2017).

With so many degree options in Nevada, there are many ways you can start creating a career you’re passionate about.

Learn more now by reaching out to Nevada forensic science schools!