Home » Forensic Science » Salary and benefits

Salary and benefits in forensic science

smiling person sits at work bench looking at laptop screen while wearing lab coat and holding safety glasses

Thinking about a career in forensic science? Forensics has fulfilling jobs at each education level, making it accessible for many learners. This is great news for the industry, as the need for forensic science technicians is expected to grow by 11.4% over the next decade, faster than average.

In this article

Forensic science technician salary by state

This job typically requires a bachelor’s degree for entry, but this requirement varies based on the lab and the specialty.

Forensic Science Technicians

National data

Median Salary: $61,930

Projected job growth: 11.4%

10th Percentile: $37,670

25th Percentile: $47,750

75th Percentile: $80,670

90th Percentile: $103,430

Projected job growth: 11.4%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $52,640 $36,480 $67,310
Alaska $68,840 $59,680 $101,560
Arizona $63,360 $39,760 $101,360
Arkansas $50,100 $31,140 $60,040
California $81,910 $55,440 $125,310
Colorado $76,870 $50,950 $97,670
Connecticut $78,850 $50,950 $101,060
Florida $50,370 $37,300 $77,590
Georgia $47,750 $32,510 $69,100
Hawaii $64,630 $50,860 $81,910
Idaho $50,100 $39,390 $80,910
Illinois $103,430 $61,490 $104,100
Indiana $61,550 $37,200 $80,910
Iowa $64,760 $50,950 $104,100
Kentucky $46,030 $28,310 $60,040
Louisiana $47,330 $31,510 $81,690
Maine $60,040 $37,320 $72,510
Maryland $62,540 $47,040 $103,900
Massachusetts $81,690 $50,950 $123,860
Michigan $62,730 $37,670 $96,740
Minnesota $78,200 $47,740 $103,850
Mississippi $49,020 $30,630 $63,750
Missouri $58,960 $46,980 $77,980
Montana $63,750 $47,310 $80,910
Nebraska $60,040 $34,000 $76,010
Nevada $64,250 $47,310 $98,820
New Hampshire $77,440 $50,840 $88,250
New Jersey $64,760 $39,430 $82,090
New Mexico $47,870 $23,260 $78,980
New York $80,170 $50,390 $106,360
North Carolina $47,320 $37,300 $63,810
Ohio $64,250 $47,310 $103,900
Oklahoma $49,490 $23,850 $80,670
Oregon $79,580 $47,170 $109,930
Pennsylvania $47,740 $29,120 $76,880
South Carolina $45,850 $36,380 $61,460
South Dakota $39,780 $29,500 $60,040
Tennessee $50,520 $37,550 $82,340
Texas $50,860 $36,610 $81,910
Utah $50,370 $38,650 $64,250
Virginia $60,040 $39,050 $91,770
Washington $75,100 $48,990 $94,540
Wisconsin $58,960 $37,960 $98,750
Wyoming $59,270 $38,910 $80,220

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Is the forensics job I’m looking at technically a “Forensic science technician”?

It’s very possible, particularly if the education required is at the bachelor level. The BLS classifies a great number of forensics jobs under “forensic science technician”:

Top 15 metro areas for forensic science technicians

Forensic science technician salaries vary with metropolitan areas as well. Usually because of factors like demand and cost of living, the salaries in cities can be a little higher than the surrounding areas.

Metro Area Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $105,680
Akron, OH $103,900
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI $99,310
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $98,560
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA $98,560
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $97,180
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $82,740
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $82,090
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $82,090
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA $81,910
New Haven, CT $81,440
Topeka, KS $80,910
Missoula, MT $80,910
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA $80,170
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY $79,930

What benefits can forensic scientists expect?

The field of forensic science generally offers a typical benefits package, including paid time off, sick time, holidays, health insurance, life insurance, and more. They also usually include retirement planning benefits like 401K matches. 62% of forensic science technician positions are with local governments according to the BLS, meaning these positions are often city employees with city employee benefits. Each local government varies in what it offers, but knowing where you intend to apply can help you look up benefits that might be accessible with the position.

Other forensic science jobs and their salaries

Some specialized forensic jobs can be classified by the BLS under a different job than forensic science technician. These titles include forensic chemists, forensic psychologists, medical examiners (pathologists), and more.

Career Median Annual Salary
Forensic Science Technicians $61,930
Chemists $79,430
Psychologists, All Other $102,900
Physicians, Pathologists N/A