3 fascinating forensics jobs in Australia

Thinking about forensics as a career? For true crime junkies and self-confessed science geeks with a penchant for justice, it might seem like the perfect choice. But what does it take to work in forensics, and what jobs are on offer in Australia?

3 fascinating forensic jobs

The lure of unravelling mysteries and solving crimes has made forensics an intriguing career field for many, particularly as true crime podcasts and shows like Criminal Minds continue to captivate audiences. 

While the portrayal of forensics on television remains slightly skewed and over glamourised, real-life forensics is far from dull. Spanning the psychological aspects of crime to the scientific analysis of evidence, there are a wide range of forensic job opportunities in Australia across a broad range of disciplines.

Here’s a look at three that are particularly fascinating.  

3 fascinating forensic careers that help fight crime

Forensic psychology: Understanding the criminal mind

Forensic psychology explores the intersection of psychology and crime. Using their knowledge of human behaviour, forensic psychologists serve the criminal justice system by providing crucial insight into a crime and/or criminals for law enforcement and the legal system.

Their role sees them support law enforcement agencies, courts, and correctional facilities by helping to develop offender profiles, offering expert testimony in legal proceedings, and conducting psychological assessments, among other things.

To pursue a career in forensic psychology the first step is to complete an accredited undergraduate degree in psychology with honours before continuing into postgraduate study

Forensic accounting: Following the money trail

Forensic accountants play an integral role in investigating financial crimes. From identifying fraud and money laundering to analysing and tracing complex financial transactions, they utilise their skills in accounting and auditing to help bring down money masterminds. Alongside running the numbers, forensic accountants can provide evidence and expert opinion to aid legal proceedings too.

If tracking and interpreting numbers to take down white collar crime intrigues you, the most common path to a career in forensic accounting is to become a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) or Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA), starting with a Bachelor of Accounting. From there you can enhance your credentials with further study in forensic accounting.

Forensic science: Unravelling scientific evidence

A crime scene tells a story. It’s a forensic scientist’s job to read it using the various ‘plot points’—physical evidence—left behind. They will look at the physical evidence and clues at a crime scene to aid criminal investigations, including analysing blood splatter, fingerprints, DNA, ballistics, toxicology, and more.

Andrew Camilleri, Assistant Director Science and Support at Forensic Science South Australia, says much of a forensic scientist’s work goes on behind the scenes.

“Most forensic scientists spend their days at a desk working on a computer to process and interpret the scientific results obtained from the evidence that has been examined,” says Andrew.

Far from the glamourised portrayal on television, which Andrew says is often skewed.

“It’d be nice if the job was as glamorous as portrayed on TV but unfortunately that is not the reality,” he says.

Related reading: Criminal psychology vs forensic psychology

Things like DNA analysis being conducted on machines used for drug analysis, and fingerprints left on critical evidence the key to solving a crime are just some of the inaccurate depictions, says Andrew.

To be successful as a forensic scientist Andrew says it’s important to see all sides of the puzzle. “Sometimes you need to think a little bit outside of the square to identify evidence that may be present but not obvious,” he says.

“An inquisitive nature is important because often you are trying to find evidence that will support or refute an allegation.”

If this sounds like the forensics career for you, you’ll need to complete a bachelor degree in forensic science or a related field, such as a Bachelor of Science. Students often major in areas such as biology, crime scene investigation, and chemistry.

Other forensic job opportunities

The above are just a handful of examples from the diverse pool of forensic job opportunities available in Australia. Others include: forensic pathologist, crime scene investigator, digital forensic analyst, forensic anthropologist, forensic toxicologist, forensic entomologist, forensic biologist, and more.

Is forensics in demand in Australia?

Thrilled by the idea of a career in forensics? Not only do you have plenty of career options to choose from, the demand for forensics professionals is high in Australia thanks to advancements in technology and an ever-evolving criminal landscape.

From roles in government departments to law enforcement agencies, forensic experts who can support investigations and provide expert opinion are key to staying ahead of crime.

How do I get a job in forensics in Australia?

Armed with a solid education in your chosen forensics field, there’s a world of opportunity for graduates seeking a job in forensics in Australia. From the Australian Federal Police to state government laboratories and private consulting firms, graduates of a forensics-related degree can explore multiple employment avenues. 

Postgraduate studies and relevant work experience is also a great way to stand out in a sea of applicants, says Andrew. 

What degree is best for forensics?

Which degree is best depends on your career aspirations. However, a strong foundation of education in the relevant forensics field accompanied by work experience and professional certifications remain common requirements across the board. Advanced degrees and postgraduate study can also elevate your standing within your chosen forensic field. 


Explore the forensics courses you can study online with leading universities through Open Universities Australia. Or get one-on-one advice about your study options by clicking the button below.


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