How To Become a Blood Analyst in 6 Steps (Plus Average Salary)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published September 29, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Blood analysts are forensic science experts who help detectives reconstruct crime scenes and find out what occurred. Through sampling and using software programs, these professionals can determine the key components of a crime. Understanding how to become a blood analyst can help you determine if it's the right career for you. In this article, we discuss what a blood analyst is, share their work environment, explain how much they make in a year and provide steps you can take to become one.
What is a blood analyst?
A blood analyst is a forensic science expert who identifies how crimes occurred by investigating the crime scene and analyzing blood. They may use swabs and special ultraviolet lighting to help them locate blood and evaluate its pattern. This may help them determine when the crime took place, where the people involved were when it happened and what occurred. A blood analyst's findings can also help detectives or investigators understand whether the incident was an accident or premeditated.
Job duties for a blood analyst may include:
Collecting and reviewing blood samples
Recording and sketching observations from the crime scene to refer to later
Examining blood patterns
Writing detailed reports to assist detectives and investigators
Testifying in criminal hearings to share the conclusion they made from their tests
Photographing crime scenes and evidence
Using computer software to help reconstruct a crime scene
Consulting with forensic specialists and law enforcement professionals
Blood analyst salary and job outlook
Forensic science technicians, similar to blood analysts, earn an average of $51,038 per year. This salary may vary depending on the type of employer a blood analyst has. Other factors that may affect a blood analyst's salary include their years of professional experience, amount of education and job location.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates job opportunities for forensic science technicians to grow by 16% between 2020 and 2030. This is two times the average growth rate for all other occupations. The BLS credits this job growth to the advancement in technology and the need for professionals like blood analysts to process large caseloads for state and local governments.
Blood analyst work environment
Typically, blood analysts work in a local or state laboratory setting and travel to the scene of a crime when collecting blood samples. They often work flexible hours that vary depending on their current case. Due to the urgency of solving a case, their work may be stressful but rewarding, which may promote a high level of job satisfaction. Blood analysts may wear protective equipment at work to ensure they're safe as they work with potentially hazardous materials, such as body fluids.
These experts may work for government agencies, testing laboratories or medical and diagnostic laboratories. They may also work for a private attorney, as a contractor or with a private forensic science company.
How to become a blood analyst
You can follow these steps to learn how to become a blood analyst:
1. Earn a bachelor's degree
Blood analysts often begin their careers by earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in subjects such as chemistry, biology, criminal justice or forensic science. During your education, you may learn about human anatomy, which can prepare you for a job as a blood analyst. Your classes may also cover constitutional law, statistical analysis and other topics related to blood analysis. Some schools provide courses in specific areas of forensic science, such as toxicology or DNA testing.
2. Complete additional training
While in college, consider attending additional training to expand your knowledge of blood analysis. Aspiring blood analysts may attend workshops or seminars that focus on topics related to forensic science, crime scene reconstruction and basic blood pattern analysis. They may also earn the Bloodstain Pattern Analyst Certification through the International Association for Identification (IAI) after completing a 40-hour training program and passing the four-part exam. This can be beneficial since some states require blood analysts to have a certification to practice. It can also improve your professional credibility and help you find future jobs.
Please note that none of the companies or certifications mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
3. Consider earning a master's degree
Some employers prefer to hire blood analysts with a master's degree in subjects such as forensic science or criminal justice. You may also learn how to use specialized software to reconstruct crime scenes. This can help you update your crime scene investigation techniques, which may improve your success at work.
4. Find an entry-level position
To gain experience, consider seeking an entry-level position in your chosen field. This can provide you with on-the-job training in blood analysis, allowing you to develop your relevant skills. Working closely with an experienced investigator can help you learn more about blood pattern analysis. You also can consider seeking a volunteer position or internship at your local police department.
5. Prepare your resume
Once you're ready to apply for a blood analyst job, you can create a resume that highlights your skills and training. Consider including information about any specialized training or certifications you have to help you distinguish yourself from other candidates during the hiring process. Additionally, you can proofread your finished resume to make sure it's free of grammatical errors, which can demonstrate your professionalism and attention to detail.
6. Apply for a blood analyst job
After completing your resume, you can apply for blood analyst positions. Consider using local and state government websites to find positions online. Depending on the type of work environment you're seeking, you may also send your application to relevant laboratories, offices of private attorneys or forensic science companies. The application process may include passing a drug test and background check.
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