Forensic Science Programs in Wyoming
You may have thought about a career in criminal justice before, but perhaps it was never the right time to make a career change. Now, thanks to recent changes in the criminal justice industry, you may have the chance to make your dreams a reality. There’s no doubt that criminal justice is one of the cornerstone industries in the United States. Without criminal justice, there is no enforcement of laws or justice for crimes that are committed. By contributing to one of this field’s areas of specialized study, you can do your part to solve crimes and make Wyoming residents feel safe.
Is a career in forensic science in your future?
Discover training options near you today by contacting forensic science schools in Wyoming.
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Wyoming?
Not only can forensic science figure out who was present at the scene of a crime and how victims sustained injuries or fatalities, it can actually discern important details of cases. Consider a recent murder case in Wyoming in which a man stabbed his roommate to death with a sword (Billings Gazette, 2017). In the courtroom, this case hinged on whether the man or his roommate was the initial aggressor, which would determine whether he was attacking or defending himself. The angle, depth, and placement of a wound can tell forensic scientists if a person was reacting defensively or making the first move.
Forensic Science Degrees in Wyoming
You know you’re interested in forensic science, so it’s time to find out how to become a forensics scientist.
Forensic science is a fairly complex field, which means that you may get started in entry-level positions with minimal postsecondary education or you may progress to higher-level positions with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. In Wyoming, you may pursue an associate degree in forensic science at one of the state’s technical schools or community colleges. For a full-time student, an associate degree requires about two years of study. By the time you reach graduation, you should have between 60 and 70 credits. Up to half of your credits may be earned in general education classes, while the remainder of your credits should come from forensic science classes. Associate-level programs focus heavily on practical experience which may benefit you in this career field. In your school’s crime lab, you may learn how to handle evidence carefully, process it using the appropriate technology, and analyze results from forensic tests.
Associate-Level Forensic Science Classes
Criminal Investigation: Although forensic science is applicable to many parts of the criminal justice process, it is particularly important to the investigative process. You should be extremely well-versed in the criminal investigation process so you know how your evidence is used and how you may strengthen the case of investigators.
Law of Evidence: There are very strict state and federal laws governing the use of evidence in legal settings. If you aren’t aware of these laws, you may unintentionally compromise or contaminate evidence. This class helps you master evidence laws so that you may preserve evidence.
Human Anatomy: A broad understanding of human anatomy is essential when it comes to analyzing cadavers, determining cause of death, and figuring out murder weapons. This course covers the human skeleton, specific body systems, and the physiology of organs and muscles.
Basic Chemistry: Forensic testing often relies heavily on the fundamentals of chemistry, since different bodily substances may create specific chemical interactions when tested. Build your core knowledge of chemistry in this introductory class.
Criminalistics: The study of criminalistics looks at how crimes are committed and what evidence is left behind after the commission of a crime. This course provides a foundational understanding of evidence collection and analysis.
If you get enough experience at the associate degree level, you may be able to further your education online after earning your associate degree. Since there are so many specialized subjects within the field of forensic science, taking your education to the next level with a certificate of bachelor’s degree may be advantageous to your career.
Take the first step toward multiple careers in forensics today; use our list of Wyoming schools to contact forensic science programs in your area.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Wyoming
Once you have earned your associate degree, you may have a working knowledge of forensic science, its equipment, and its long-term goals. This body of knowledge is useful in various settings, from the community to the police department to the crime lab. Consider doing an internship while you are still earning your degree; this may give you exposure to different work environments for forensic scientists and help you figure out which environment best suits you. You may also be able to work your connections at a later date to explore your job opportunities.
You may be drawn to a career that keeps you in the crime lab, particularly if you enjoy precise work that makes you indispensable to your team. In this case, consider becoming a forensic science technician. You may work for criminal justice agencies at the local, state, or federal level in this role. On average, Wyoming forensic science technicians earn $61,950 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). A 20% increase in job openings is anticipated between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017). This is a fast-paced job, since you may report to multiple investigators and juggle evidence for several cases at one time.
The role of criminal investigator could be a good fit for you if you like working with lots of different people, solving difficult cases, and leading a team. The average salary for a Wyoming criminal investigator is $74,230 per year (BLS, 2017). This career path has seen steady growth over the years; O*Net expects demand to increase 1% between 2014 and 2024 (2017).
Another option to consider is processing cadavers as a coroner. While this role may not require you to work exclusively with crime victims, you may find that many cases that come your way have died of unnatural causes. When this happens, the evidence you collect is often the foundation for a criminal case. Wyoming coroners earn an average of $66,310 per year (BLS, 2017). The job outlook for this career is stable (O*Net, 2017).
There are many options when it comes to forensic science degrees, so find the right one for you today.
Get started by requesting information from forensic science schools near you.
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