Summary Report for:
33-3021.02 - Police Identification and Records Officers
Collect evidence at crime scene, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
Sample of reported job titles: Crime Scene Evidence Technician, Crime Scene Investigator, Crime Scene Technician, Criminalist, Field Identification Specialist, Forensic Specialist, Identification Officer, Identification Technician, Latent Fingerprint Examiner, Latent Print Examiner
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Maintain records of evidence and write and review reports.
- Package, store and retrieve evidence.
- Analyze and process evidence at crime scenes and in the laboratory, wearing protective equipment and using powders and chemicals.
- Dust selected areas of crime scene and lift latent fingerprints, adhering to proper preservation procedures.
- Photograph crime or accident scenes for evidence records.
- Submit evidence to supervisors, crime labs, or court officials for legal proceedings.
- Identify, compare, classify, and file fingerprints, using systems such as Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) or the Henry Classification System.
- Look for trace evidence, such as fingerprints, hairs, fibers, or shoe impressions, using alternative light sources when necessary.
- Testify in court and present evidence.
- Serve as technical advisor and coordinate with other law enforcement workers or legal personnel to exchange information on crime scene collection activities.
- Coordinate or conduct instructional classes or in-services, such as citizen police academy classes and crime scene training for other officers.
- Process film and prints from crime or accident scenes.
- Perform emergency work during off-hours.
- Interview victims, witnesses, suspects, and other law enforcement personnel.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable widemouth pliers
- Alcohol analysers — Breathalyzers
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Compound light microscopes
- Biological evidence collection kits — Blood collection kits; Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA collection kits
- Biometric identification equipment — Fingerprint scanners
- Bolt cutters
- Bullet proof vests — Bulletproof vests
- Camera lens — Camera lens filters; Orange filter lenses; Polarized filter lenses; Wide angle camera lenses (see all 7 examples)
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Digital cameras
- Distance meters — Electronic measuring devices
- Fingerprint applicators or brushes — Fingerprint brushes
- Fingerprint latent print kits — Fingerprint evidence kits
- Footprint lifters — Electrostatic dust lifters; Impression casting kits
- Footwear covers — Footwear protectors
- Forensic magnifiers — Magnifying glasses; Ridge counters
- Fume hoods or cupboards — Fume hoods
- Gas generators — Power generators
- Geological compasses
- Hacksaw — Hacksaws
- Handheld thermometer — Handheld digital thermometers
- Hazardous material protective apparel — Biohazard suits
- Infrared lamps — Infrared light sources
- Instant print cameras
- Laboratory scalpels — Evidence collection scalpels
- Laboratory scissors — Evidence scissors
- Laboratory tools — Evidence tweezers
- Laboratory vials — Glass evidence vials
- Lasers — Laser trajectory pointers; Portable lasers
- Locking pliers — Vise grip pliers
- Masks or accessories — Filter masks
- Measuring wheels for distance — Distance measuring wheels
- Metal detectors
- Microscope slides
- Narcotic test kits — Drug testing kits
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers; Mobile data computers
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Portable data input terminals — Handheld evidence collection computers
- Protective gloves
- Pry bars
- Pullers — Automobile door handle removers
- Rulers — Crime scene rulers
- Safety glasses
- Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
- Socket sets — Socket wrench sets
- Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras
- Tape measures — Crime scene tape measures
- Two way radios
- Ultraviolet UV lamps — High wavelength ultraviolet UV light; Low wavelength ultraviolet UV light
- Utility knives
- Wire cutters
- Wood chisels
Technology used in this occupation:
- Data base user interface and query software — DataWorks Plus Digital CrimeScene; Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS; National Crime Information Center NCIC database; National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN (see all 5 examples)
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Digital Image Management Solutions Crime Scene; Microsoft Visio; The CAD Zone The Crime Zone (see all 12 examples)
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Document legal or regulatory information.
- Write operational reports.
- Process forensic or legal evidence in accordance with procedures.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Analyze crime scene evidence.
- Examine crime scenes to obtain evidence.
- Record crime or accident scene evidence with video or still cameras.
- Use databases to locate investigation details or other information.
- Respond to emergencies to provide assistance.
- Interview people to gather information about criminal activities.
- Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to share information.
- Direct employee training programs.
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 98% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 87% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 86% responded “Very important results.”
- Telephone — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 73% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 65% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 77% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 51% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Electronic Mail — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 49% responded “40 hours.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 46% responded “Very important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 49% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 53% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 30% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|41||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: CRI
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
Employment data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
Industry data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
|Median wages (2014)||$38.40 hourly, $79,870 annual|
|Employment (2012)||115,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Little or no change (-2% to 2%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||27,700|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Police and Detectives . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.