Now you can live out your favourite crime drama and embark on this exciting career. Find out how you can become a Criminalist.

Job Responsibilities

Criminalists meet with DNA and medical experts to examine evidence

Criminalists are responsible for determining the five w’s and h of a (who, what, where, when, why and how) crime.

When the criminal is tried in court, a Criminalist should report their findings of the investigation in court.

Criminalists examine evidence such as fingerprints, hair, fiber, skin, blood, and more

What to Study

Reconstructing an Incident Scene

The Certificate in Reconstructing an Incident Scene is made up of nine subjects and can take you up to 18 months to complete.

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Forensic Science Biology Course

The Certificate in Forensic Science (Biology) is made up of nine subjects and can take you up to 18 months to complete.

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What is a Criminalist?

Acriminalist working in her labIf you are obsessed with crime dramas, you might be familiar with Criminalists and the role they play. They are usually the ones that can be found in the lab wearing white coats. 

They examine evidence that was found on the scene of the crime. The purpose of their investigation is to create links between the criminal and victim. 

What Qualifications do you Need to Become a Criminalist?

To become a Criminalist, you will need a science degree from a university. Don’t meet the requirements? Not to worry, you have options.

Get Your Matric as an Adult

If you’ve never finished matric, it’s not the end of the world. You can still finish matric as an adult. Skills Academy offers adult matric courses to anyone 21 years and older. Set goals for yourself to achieve good grades to enter university.

Upgrade Matric

Didn’t meet the entry requirements for university? Give yourself a second chance by applying for a matric upgrade course. You can combine your matric marks, write the subjects you failed to improve your overall average. A matric upgrade could help you get into university. 

Enrol for our Forensic Courses

Our Forensic Courses will not make you a Criminalist. You need a degree to step into this career field. However, you may complete our courses during a gap year as a career tester. This will help you determine whether or not this is the career field for you. 

What is the Salary of a Criminalist?

People who work in the Forensic Science career field can expect to earn handsome salaries. According to Payscale, this is what people within this industry earns:

  • Forensic Scientist – R 269 000 per year
  • Forensic Analyst –  R 274 000 per year
  • Crime Scene Investigator – R 239 000 per year

How do you Become a Criminalist?

Do you want to help bring criminals to justice and make a career out of your love for science. Then this is the career for you. The following could help you land your dream job:

Get Good Grades in School

Vials of crime scene samplesFor this career field you will need to get a degree. Lay the foundation while you’re in high school by choosing the correct subjects and study hard to meet university requirements. 

Choose high school subjects like Physical Science, Mathematics and Life Science. 

If you failed matric, consider a matric upgrade to help you get there. 

Apply to University

For a career in Forensics, you will need to apply for a Bachelor of Science. You can complete yours at university or a distance learning institution. There are many other pathways in forensics you can consider. Some even require you to have a Bachelor of Arts. But to work in the laboratory, you need a science degree.

Seek Entry Level Work

Get your foot in the door and get as much experience as you can. After you finish university, you can find entry level work in this field. Visit your local police station to learn about job opportunities, or keep an eye out on the SAPS website and other recruiter sites. 

Kick-Start Your Criminalist Career Today 

  • Speak to a course expert for free at 0800 39 00 27
  • Or fill out this contact form for a call back

Last Updated: May 04, 2020