Employment Opportunity

Forensic Scientist (Crime Scene)

Department of Forensic Sciences, Washington DC

Salary: $61,491.00 - $79,275.00 per year

Final Filing Date: April 29, 2017

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • The position is responsible for recognizing, recording, and recovering evidence in criminal investigations at the scene(s) of crime(s) by analyzing, photographing, collecting, preserving, and presenting physical evidence. Crime scenes include person crimes, such as homicides, sexual assaults, and robberies, as well as property crimes and traffic crashes, etc.
  • Investigates assigned crime scenes in various locations in the city; assists with sealing the crime scene to protect and preserve important evidence.
  • Collects fingerprints/palm prints, tire and shoe prints, tool mark impressions, firearms) to facilitate positive identification and/or elimination, hair, clothing, fibers, and biological evidence; and analyzes and records crime scenes showing correlation between evidence and the scenes. Performs various chemical and photographic processes in the field or laboratory.
  • Uses digital cameras to photograph evidence at the crime scene that specifically correlates with collected data and other evidence deemed appropriate for the case.
  • Ensures that all persons who enter/visit the crime scene do not tamper with any evidence to avoid “evidence tampering” which might become an issue in court proceedings.
  • Processes evidence in the laboratory using latent print powders, chemical solutions, forensic light sources, and various cameras, lenses, and filters in order to develop and preserve evidence.
  • Attends autopsies to photograph injuries and fingerprint the deceased for identification purposes, and collect relevant physical evidence
  • Assists with improving operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly with other scientists/staff members or the public to provide seamless customer service; also researches to determine if new and/or revise methods for performing analyses are warranted or determines the effectiveness of current analytical methods.
  • Follows evidence control procedures to maintain proper chain-of-custody of evidence, proper packaging, storage and integrity and ensures evidence is locked securely in a designated location before and after analysis.
  • Advises on the collection of evidence in each case, including those involving deaths, especially when homicide is suspected; evaluates risks concerning or identifying hazardous materials in the field and the laboratory.
  • Conducts a wide variety of complex and difficult analyses; decides what tests and procedures to use; and may conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis by using specific techniques, including but not limited to physical testing, visual analysis, identification and classification, comparisons, etc.
  • Utilizes computer software to analyze results of tests in order to perform calculations and keeps up-to-date on current studies, pamphlet, journals, and books for use in devising methods and tests; develops charts, graphs, and tables as aids to conduct tests; evaluates laboratory test results in the area of concern; prepares technical reports on findings and project results.
  • Testifies in court in connection with the evidence processed, developed and preserved as well as any examinations or analyses performed
  • Prepares detailed reports and supplements; accepts documents, and bar-codes evidence associated with each crime scene case.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Comprehensive knowledge of principles, theories, concepts and practices of analytical chemistry, physical science, or biology or related field to the work.
  • Ability to perform in accordance with protocol, internal operations, etc., that are associated with various types of crime scene scenarios effectively.
  • Knowledge of mathematics and statistics as they relate to analytical laboratory work.
  • Knowledge of safety practices and procedures that apply to field analysis, particularly in the forensic laboratories; and knowledge, skill and ability to maintain research methods and techniques, keep informed of current literature and precedence relevant to the forensic scientific fields.
  • Knowledge of and skill in collecting and processing crime scene evidence utilizing a variety of technical equipment, materials, methods and photographic processes.; and ability to perform complex scientific analyses and adhere to quality assurance standards and processes with these methods.
  • Research skills associated with the crime scene, scientific methods, techniques and testing are required.
  • Knowledge of the rules of evidence and the methods used in presenting evidence in court; and policies and procedures for maintaining the chain-of-evidence integrity.
  • Ability to prepare technical forms, reports, and other correspondence; and excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relationships with associates, consultants, regulatory agencies, and the general public; and ability to work safely without presenting a threat to self or others.
  • Ability to testify effectively in court.
  • Skill and ability to use a personal computer to prepare, store, and retrieve data and knowledge of software affiliated with crime scene data.
  • Licensure, Certification and other requirements
  • This position’s duty station will be housed within the Consolidated Forensic Laboratory (CFL) which is a protection-sensitive facility. As such, incumbents of this position shall be subject to criminal background checks, background investigations, and mandatory drug and alcohol testing, as applicable.
  • The nature of the DFS mission necessarily involves the potential risks associated with biological or chemical hazards, including morgue functions. Although contact with these functions is intended to be minimal, the risks are nevertheless possible; training to recognize, address, and mitigate these risks is required as is dealing with potentially personally difficult topics, such as crime, death, and disease.
  • A Bachelor of Science degree in a natural or forensic science from an accredited university; graduates of programs accredited by the Forensic Science Educational Program Accreditation Commission (FEPAC; are preferred; and successful completion of the DFS Crime Scene Scientist Training Program and two (2) years of experience or equivalent experience and training at another forensic laboratory.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in another course of study may be substituted with a minimum of three (3) years of experience in a relevant, equivalent full-time crime scene position.
Work Experience
  • Three (3) years of experience in a relevant, equivalent full-time crime scene position
  • Has demonstrated competency (by DFS training & competency standards) in the following areas:
    • Latent Print Processing
    • Collection of Biological/DNA evidence
    • Processing of vehicles
    • Processing of Crime Scenes

Do you have the Education Required? See available on-line and campus-based degree programs now!

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: April 20, 2017

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