Forensic Science Programs in New Jersey
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in New Jersey?
Every career path in the justice industry plays its own role in the prediction, solving, and prevention of crime. If you’re looking forward to a rewarding career in the field of criminal justice, forensic science degrees may be the natural choice for you. In the field of forensic science, professionals use their knowledge of criminology, the latest technology in criminal justice, and a thorough understanding of physical sciences to solve crimes.
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Forensic science professionals in New Jersey do work that benefits investigators, victims, and suspects. In fact, in many cases, forensic science has been used to rule out potential suspects and save them from becoming entangled in a criminal investigation.
In the state of New Jersey, lawmakers have started to take steps toward addressing wrongful convictions throughout the state (Courier Post Online, 2017). Forensic science is a major advantage when it comes to identifying perpetrators and letting innocent suspects go free.
In a forensic science program, you may learn how to collect evidence from the scene of a crime, process it, analyze it, and store it for safekeeping and further analysis.
Forensic Science Degrees in New Jersey
Once you decide to study the field of forensic science, there are quite a few degree options you have to compare and consider. If you have previously earned a Bachelor’s degree, you may want to skip over Associate’s and Bachelor’s forensic science programs to pursue a graduate degree. Those who have a high school diploma or Associate’s degree may choose to advance their education with a Bachelor’s degree. There are also certificate and Associate’s programs in New Jersey.
Earning a certificate is a time-efficient way to learn the foundations of forensic science and decide whether or not you’re interested in further study in this field. Certificate programs typically last between one and three semesters, leading to the completion of 15 to 45 credits.
Certificate in Criminal Forensics
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Introduction to Criminal Law
- Correctional Procedures
- Crime Scene Investigation Procedures
An Associate’s degree is one step up from a certificate. You must earn 60 credits to graduate with an Associate’s degree. This entails earning about 30 general education credits and about 30 credits in forensic science courses. The average student needs two years to complete this program.
With an Associate’s degree, you may be able to go into some entry-level forensic science careers or you may be able to further your education with a Bachelor’s degree.
Associate’s-Level Forensic Science Classes
- Criminal Law
- Issues in Policing
- Crime Scene Procedures
A Bachelor’s degree in forensic investigation may be an excellent way to solidify the skills, theory, and terminology you need to really make an impact in the world of forensic science. A Bachelor’s degree requires at least 120 credits, which you typically earn over a period of eight semesters.
Hands-on experience is essential at this level of education. You may spend quite a bit of your time in the lab and you may even be required to complete an internship. If you choose a school that makes internships optional, try to make time in your schedule for this valuable hands-on experience.
Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Investigation
- Introduction to Forensic Science
- Advanced Forensic Science
- Functional Human Anatomy
- Forensic Anthropology
To enroll in a graduate forensic science program, you must have a Bachelor’s degree already. An undergraduate degree in criminal justice, forensic science, psychology, or a related field may be beneficial. However, many graduate programs do accept students from other fields of study.
You may need to prove your commitment to this field via an essay outlining your career goals, relevant work or volunteer experience, or references that can speak to your overall work ethic.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Psychology
- Psychological Basis of Criminal Behavior
- Forensic Evaluation and Assessment
- Forensic Interviewing Techniques
This is your chance to take your forensic science knowledge to the next level.
Use our list of New Jersey forensic science programs to contact schools near you today.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in New Jersey
The work you put in for your degree may pay off when it comes time to search for a career. While other industries may ebb and flow, the field of criminal justice has seen fairly consistent growth in recent years. No matter what happens in other industries, people want to feel safe in their communities.
Consider a variety of work environments as you earn your degree to figure out which work environment may be most beneficial for you. Try to get work experience in several work settings to start making connections in the world of criminal justice.
Many students enjoy the laboratory component of a forensic science degree, so they opt to become forensic science technicians. This field has seen rapid growth in recent years, with an expected 13% increase in job openings between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017). The average salary for a forensic science technician is $55,380 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). As a forensic science tech, you may work in crime labs, research facilities, or local criminal justice agencies.
If you have previous experience as a police officer or law enforcement professional, you may be interested in the field of criminal investigation. Many forensic science graduates go on to become criminal investigators. The average salary for a criminal investigator in New Jersey is $98,940 per year (BLS, 2017). This field is relatively steady; between 2014 and 2024, O*Net anticipates an average of 80 new job openings per year in this specialty (2017).
Coroners perform a crucial function in the world of criminal investigations. While coroners may often examine the bodies of people who have died from natural causes, they are also expected to identify unnatural deaths, determine the cause of death, and provide preliminary evidence to investigators. On average, they claim $76,370 per year (BLS, 2017). Each year between 2014 and 2024, O*Net anticipates an average of 130 new job openings (2017).
Don’t wait any longer to start building the criminal justice career that fits your long-term goals.
Contact New Jersey forensic science schools to get started today.
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