You have seen them on your favorite CSI TV show. They are the meticulous forensic document examiners who scrutinize paperwork such as forged money, ransom notes, and suspicious handwriting. Have you ever wondered what a forensic document examiner does and what the educational requirements are to become one?
In this article, I will explain what the job description of a forensic document examiner entails and what kind of educational training that candidates must undergo to be successful in this profession.
If you love reading magazines, books, and letters, the highly specialized job of a forensic document examiner may be the career for you. The job responsibilities of a forensic document examiner are to study documents and other handwritten and printed materials with a knack for determining their legitimacy, age, and authorship read this. A successful candidate must be able to have good eyesight, lots of patience, extreme attention to detail, and enough intestinal fortitude to work long hours by himself. You must have good language and grammar skills. You must know how to use a camera to take photographs of the documents you are studying. Finally, you must have working knowledge of current laboratory testing procedures.
To enter in this field, it is not required that you have specific educational training. However, you are expected to be board certified by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE). You must meet their standards by earning any college degree and acquiring on-the-job experience in the field. If you have a college degree in chemistry, any other laboratory science, or forensic science, your education can be of great benefit to you. Chemical testing is at the heart of the job of a forensic document examiner.
To gain hands-on experience, you must seek employment in the questioned-documents laboratory where you can learn everything you need to know as an apprentice. Several federal law enforcement agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF); the CIA; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Secret Service; IRS; and any of the branches of the military maintain a questioned-documents laboratory. Many state and local law enforcement agencies also have questioned-documents sections in their crime laboratories.
Experts such as forensic document examiners use many scientific procedures to help solve a crime. Their efforts help bring an offender to justice and bring closure to the families of the victims.