Many industries require the skills of a forensic analyst, in particular: security, criminal intelligence and scientific research.
A solid grounding in maths and science is essential for a forensic analyst. Recruitment agencies and employers look for candidates who possess an analytical mind and produce work that displays a high level of attention to detail.
Further qualifications required for the role of forensic analyst are dependent on specialisation. Staff may decide to become an expert in a certain field of forensic analysis and concentrate their studies in this area.
Police forces and security agencies are actively recruiting forensic computer analysts to deal with the rise in computer crime. A trainee can earn around £20,000 a year, and should possess a forensic computing qualification or have previous IT experience working as a network engineer or developer. Analysts with the ability to keep abreast of criminal and investigative techniques using the latest technologies can see their salaries rise to between £40,000 and £60,000 a year, within four to five years.
Analysts in the field of scientific research require a degree or postgraduate award in science. Depending on the area of forensic work you wish to undertake, a degree in biology, chemistry, applied sciences, life sciences, or medical sciences would be necessary. An initial salary of £20,000 a year will increase to £25,000 to £35,000 with experience.
In any analyst role, excellent communication skills are vital as reports need to be submitted in writing, and possibly in person.