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How Much Does a Crime Scene Lab Analyst Make?

by Terri Williams

Crime scene and laboratory analysts – known by a variety of other names, such as forensic science technicians, crime scene investigators, evidence technicians, crime scene technicians or forensic investigators -- usually specialize in collecting, identifying and documenting physical evidence at the scene of a crime or processing evidence in laboratories. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts demand for crime scene and laboratory analysts will increase by 19 percent through 2020. Their salary is higher than the $45,790 earned by the average U.S. worker but may be lower than some comparable careers.

National Wage Estimates

According to May 2012 national wage data from the BLS, crime scene and laboratory analysts made a mean annual wage of $55,730, or a mean hourly wage of $26.79. The median or midpoint salary for crime scene and laboratory analysts was $52,840. The top 10 percent of crime scene and laboratory analysts earned $85,210, while the bottom 10 percent made $32,200.

Comparative Salary Analysis

Compared to other criminal justice and law enforcement occupations, police officers earned a mean annual wage of $57,770, while detectives and criminal investigators made $77,860. In a comparison with some other occupations that also collect and analyze samples, geoscientists made $106,780, geological and petroleum technicians earned $59,880, medical and clinical lab technologists made $58,640, environmental engineering technicians earned $49,380 and biological technicians earned $42,600.

Highest-Paying Employers

Crime scene and laboratory analysts earned the highest salary working for the federal executive branch, with an annual mean wage of $94,800. They earned the second-highest salary of $66,390 working at medical and diagnostic laboratories. Architectural, engineering and related services firms paid $61,680. The fourth and fifth highest-paying employers were local governments and state governments, with mean annual wages of $55,950 and $51,100, respectively.

Top-Paying Locations

The District of Columbia was the top-paying location for crime scene and laboratory analysts, with an annual mean wage of $73,010. California was a close second, at $72,000, followed by Michigan, at $70,650. Rounding out the top five highest-paying locations for crime scene and laboratory analysts were Massachusetts and Virginia, at $69,360 and $66,360, respectively.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Photo Credits

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