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Forensic Science Programs in Wisconsin

Funding for criminal justice programs has grown substantially in recent years. Even as the economy bounces back, the fact is that crimes do occur. Society always needs a criminal justice system to protect its innocent, prevent crime, and rehabilitate offenders. For that reason, you may be interested in studying the field of forensic science.

Forensic science has been responsible for some of the most substantial changes in criminal justice, affecting the way that investigators and police officers solve criminal cases.

Curious about how to become a forensics scientist?

Contact forensic science schools in Wisconsin to learn more.

With recent growth in the criminal justice industry, this is an excellent time to learn more.

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

It’s clear that forensic science is an important part of this industry in Wisconsin. The state budget for 2017 included funding for a new crime lab to be built in Waukesha County or Milwaukee County (Fox 6 Now, 2017). This facility is expected to cost $75 million and will include equipment for DNA testing, toxicology reports, evidence processing, and forensic imaging. In addition, the facility will offer training to criminal justice professionals and house an investigative field office for the city of Milwaukee.

As this and other facilities take root in Wisconsin, the statewide need for forensic science professionals may continue to grow.

Forensic Science Degrees in Wisconsin

Before you can start comparing careers in forensics, you have to choose a degree that fits your educational goals and your previous experience. Wisconsin is home to multiple four-year colleges and universities that offer various criminal justice degrees.

Explore each program’s admissions requirements, coursework requirements, and learning outcomes to figure out where you fit into this growing field. If you have previously completed some postsecondary education, you may want to bulk up your learning with a certificate or a bachelor’s in forensic science.

If this is your first venture into postsecondary education, a bachelor’s degree may provide the in-depth training you need to hone your critical thinking skills and your knowledge of forensic science techniques. Certificate programs in forensic science typically last between one three semesters, with the average program lasting one year. The average student needs four years of full-time education to finish a bachelor’s degree, which is comprised of roughly 120 credits.

Certificate in Forensic Toxicology

  • Criminalistics: The field of criminalistics ties in directly with forensic science. In this class, you learn about the different scientific tests used to determine the outcome of a crime and lay out an accurate timeline of the crime.

  • Pharmacology: To be able to properly read toxicology reports, you must understand how alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescribed drugs work within the body. The focus of this course is pharmacological substances when used outside of their intended use.

  • Criminal Evidence and Investigation: Explore the process of investigating a crime to understand how forensic science fits into the field of criminal justice as a whole.

  • The Human Skeleton: This course provides you with an extensive understanding of the human body and its makeup, which allows you to more easily comprehend injuries or fatalities caused by crime.

Bachelor’s Degree Coursework

  • Evidence Collection and Preservation: In the first hours after finding a crime scene, what you do really matters. Handling evidence carefully and preserving it appropriately ensures that it can be analyzed accurately and used in legal settings.

  • Investigative Photography: Discover important techniques for taking photographs of crime scenes, victims, and evidence.

  • Fingerprint Collection and Development: Fingerprints are extremely helpful for tying perpetrators to the scene of a crime. Learn how to lift prints from items, victims, and crime scenes.

  • Crime Scene Processing Techniques: Crime scene investigators use different methods and equipment to process crime scenes and save the evidence that can be found there. In this class, learn about the fundamentals of evidence collection and build your skill set of crime scene processing techniques.

Why not take this chance to learn more about forensic science degrees?

Explore our list of Wisconsin schools and request information for forensic science programs that catch your attention.

Working as a Forensic Scientist in Wisconsin

As the criminal justice industry continues to grow in scope and ambition, it’s likely that the demand for forensic professionals may continue to grow. In today’s courtrooms, juries and judges want to see conclusive proof that ties perpetrators to the crimes they’re accused of. Forensic evidence is one of the most effective tools that investigators have at their disposal.

To prepare for your future career, you may want to connect with criminal justice leaders and employers during your education. Look into completing an internship or becoming active in local professional organizations.

Becoming a forensic science technician may be an excellent use of your skills and knowledge. If you choose to pursue this role, be ready to spend most of your time in the lab. You may occasionally travel to crime scenes to collect evidence, but the majority of your time may be spent processing evidence back at the lab. In Wisconsin, forensic science technicians earn an average of $46,040 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). By the year 2024, job openings for forensic sciences technicians may increase 23% in Wisconsin (O*Net, 2017).

You could also put your education to use by becoming a criminal investigator; in this career, you should be ready to work with forensic evidence and master the key concepts of law enforcement. In addition to processing evidence, you may conduct interviews and follow leads to bring cases to their conclusions. The average annual salary for a Wisconsin criminal investigator is $74,390 (BLS, 2017). From 2014 through 2024, job openings for criminal investigators may jump by an average of 30 per year (O*Net, 2017).

As a coroner, you may work within a crime lab or in a medical facility. Work settings vary between Wisconsin counties, depending on crime rates and funding in each area. Wisconsin coroners report an average income of $62,460 per year (BLS, 2017). A 7% increase in job openings is expected by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017).

The future of criminal justice is forensic science.

Find out how you can get involved in this exciting field by contacting forensic science programs in Wisconsin today.

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