10 Fun Careers in Medicine

Forensic Scientist
Fingerprint analysis in a lab setting is much less dramatic than what’s portrayed on TV crime dramas, but it’s incredibly important to crime scene investigation. ©iStock/Thinkstock

Forensic scientists are scientists who translate crime scene observations and evidence to help criminal and civil investigations — you know, like Sherlock Holmes (who some consider a pioneer — albeit fictional — in the field) or on one of the many "CSI" TV shows (although we're about to learn the TV version of forensic science isn't quite accurate).

On TV, forensic scientists make arrests and question and interrogate suspects, but in reality, these scientists spend most of their time in the lab: They collect physical evidence (such as fingerprints, blood and weapons) in an effort to gather DNA and ballistic information from the crime scene and analyze that evidence in the lab. Forensic scientists also photograph, sketch and reconstruct crime scenes. Forensic scientists might also be called to testify as expert witnesses and will be expected to explain the evidence, the results of the analysis or test (such as pathology or toxicology findings) in addition to the relevance of this information to the case in question.