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Forensic Science Programs in New Mexico

With its proximity to the border and its inevitable involvement in the international drug trade, New Mexico has always had a spotlight on its criminal justice industry, its handling of cases, and its growth over the years. While the state remains relatively safe, the importance of catching and stopping criminals is a huge priority for residents and visitors. With the right technology, criminal justice professionals can track down suspects, match evidence to their DNA and clothing, and ensure that justice is served.

Have you ever considered how forensic science degrees could change your career?

Get more information now by contacting forensic science schools in New Mexico.

What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, forensic science technology is often used to prove that perpetrators were involved in crimes, despite their testimony to the contrary. However, it is also used to absolve suspects of suspicion. In an ongoing case, a man accused of murder was granted a new trial when DNA evidence was found (Daily Times, 2017). A new case was granted because the DNA found at the scene did not match the suspect’s DNA.

As forensic science technology becomes even more complex, it may save more lives and ensure that investigators get the right perpetrator almost every time.

Forensic Science Degrees in New Mexico

If you’re interested in attending New Mexico schools, you have several options when it comes to the field of forensic science. If you haven’t yet earned your Bachelor’s degree, that may be the first step for you. However, recent high school graduates or adult students may also look into the benefits of an Associate’s degree.

At higher levels of study, Bachelor’s-level graduates may further their career in forensic science with a Master’s degree. By requesting information from multiple schools and exploring your options thoroughly, you may be able to choose a forensic science program that is a great fit for your needs.

At the first level of study, you may find Associate’s degree programs in forensic science. This 60-credit degree is designed to be completed in two years. By the time you graduate, you should be able to use basic forensic science equipment, do simple evidence analysis, and use appropriate criminal justice terminology.

Quite a few two-year technical programs also involve practical experience in the form of laboratory work and internships.

Associate’s-Level Forensic Science Classes

  • Crime, Public Policy, and the Criminal Justice System
  • Criminology
  • Deviant Behavior
  • Evidence Analysis

Bachelor’s degree programs have a lot in common with Associate’s degree programs. They require general education classes in English, mathematics, physical sciences, and history. However, the average Bachelor’s program is twice as long as an Associate’s program, lasting four years and totaling 120 credits.

You explore many topics in much greater detail at this level of study, so a Bachelor’s degree may prepare you for more demanding career paths and higher-level study. You may choose a forensic science major and a related minor to strengthen your employability and bring in-demand skills to the table during your job search.

Bachelor’s Degree Coursework

  • Survey of Forensic Science
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Human Osteology
  • Skeletal Analysis

Once you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, you may be a good fit for graduate programs in forensic science. The average graduate program includes between 30 and 40 credits. Full-time students can generally graduate in about two years.

Plan on getting some practical experience at this level of study, since many graduate programs aim to prepare you for high-level positions that require an extensive knowledge of scientific principles and forensic science equipment.

Graduate Courses in Forensic Science

  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Advanced Criminal Justice Analysis
  • Criminological Theory
  • Nature of Crime

You could start the path to a forensic science degree right now. Check out our list of New Mexico forensic science programs to start.

Then request information from the programs that catch your eye.

Working as a Forensic Scientist in New Mexico

Throughout your education, you should stay informed of job opportunities, job growth statistics, and other information that can help you prepare for the career you want. In a competitive job market, practical work experience may be even more important than it in a standard job market.

By completing an internship, you may gain crucial work skills and build a professional network of contacts. There are numerous crime labs throughout New Mexico, offering a variety of job openings to professionally trained forensic scientists.

If you want to spend the majority of your time working directly with evidence, rather than communicating with other criminal justice professionals, look into becoming a forensic science technician. While you are still part of a team in this role, you may spend most of your time processing evidence and analyzing it carefully. This field is growing extremely quickly; O*Net anticipates a 21% boost in job openings between 2014 and 2024 (2017). The average salary for a New Mexico forensic science technician is $50,880 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).

Those who want to use their experience in the world of law enforcement may have their sights set on careers in criminal investigation. This field also demands an in-depth knowledge of forensic science, since professionals may be the first to respond to crime scenes and handle evidence. The average annual income for a New Mexico criminal investigator is $75,170 (BLS, 2017). Job openings may see a 2% boost between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

Coroners are irreplaceable in the field of criminal justice. In addition to providing closure to families whose loved ones die of natural causes, they also handle unnatural deaths caused by criminal activity. Their collection and interpretation of evidence often starts the criminal investigation process, bringing justice and peace to families. Each year, they bring in an average of $63,510 per year (BLS, 2017). Job openings are expected to jump 4% between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

If you’re ready to explore career options in forensic science, this is your chance to get started.

Explore our list of New Mexico forensic science colleges and get in touch with those that interest you.