DNA Technicians Wanted…Badly

DNA Technicians Wanted…Badly

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted June 7, 2007 in DNA and the Law, Jobs Involving DNA

william vosburghMore proof that if you know something about DNA, you have a potentially lucrative career ahead of you. Washington, DC officials recently hired Dr. William Vosburgh as a project manager for the District of Columbia Consolidated Forensics & Public Health Laboratory.

The Project Manager will also oversee some key interim activities, including working with other labs to address the current backlog of DNA cases, and reviewing and recommending improvements for our entire forensics operations as they relate to DNA.

Dr. Vosburgh is being paid more than $230,000 under a one-year contract. The big deal is that DC officials had to find a not-so-straightforward way to pay him this amount since Dr. Vosburgh wanted to be paid more than the budget would allow.

According to The Examiner, the previous DNA lab director and other lab technicians left in 2006 because they didn’t get the support they needed. Does this mean they didn’t get paid what they wanted or the lab was lacking funding? All this despite a public hearing in March 2006 at which Chief of Police Charles H Ramsey emphasized the City’s commitment to creating their own DNA lab rather than relying on federal government (FBI) resources.

Forensic positions require background checks and months of specialized training so those who qualify are in high demand. According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly earnings of forensic science technicians in May 2004 was $21.16. And the average annual salary for biological science technicians in the Federal Government was $38,443. (Looks like DC wanted Dr. Vosburgh very badly.)

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences has a list of colleges and universities that offer forensic science programs. Good luck!

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(17 comments)


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17 Comments

Comment by David Bradley

$230,000??? Puts the income I get from blogging on Sciencebase to absolute shame. Even my day job doesn’t bring me a fraction of that, well, actually, it does bring me a fraction, it’s 1/alargenumber!

db

Comment by Hsien
 
Comment by Someone that knows the Doc

Ha.. then maybe you should have earned a REAl degree and obtained a REAL education. I know the doc, extremely well, and I can tell you this, he doesn’t lie, he doesn’t care who is guilty or not, all he cares about is “perfect science”. That is what I know from him after the years I spent with him. I don’t agree with some of his findings as far as blood spatter goes (specifically in the Ranger case) but I know Bill and he doesn’t BS. He is ALL about science and the facts.

 
 
Comment by Kristina

Something to tell my students about…….. that 6 figure salary is too scarey to compare to my own!

Comment by Hsien

You too, Kristina. Time to get a new job!! hahaaa As if money should be the driving force for everything. meh ;)

 
 
Comment by alicia Subscribed to comments via email

David Bradley: LOL @ “1/alargenumber!”

Hsien: I’d love to make that much money! But, on a real level, what do you think about it?

Comment by Hsien

The thing is, sr. management in private biotech do earn a lot of money so how else can gov’t labs entice capable people to work for them? Usually with money.

 
 
Comment by Rick

Oh man… I have to get my CSI thing in action! That green looks sooo good on me (err… in my wallet) :)

Comment by Hsien

I’m telling you! Forensics DNA tech is definitely a good career option to consider.

 
 
Comment by NA Subscribed to comments via email

I will be graduating next May from undergraduate school (I love genetics). Where do I fill out the job application?

Comment by Hsien

I’m sure there are openings in almost every forensics lab in the US and other countries as well.

 
 
Comment by SPARKER

I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET A JOB IN FORENSICS DNA- THERE IS A CATCH 22 YOU NEED 6MONTHS EXPERIENCE BEFORE SOME ONE WANTS YOU BUT YOU CAN’T GET IT IF NO ONE HIRES YOU. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST.

Comment by Hsien

Hi Sparker,

Could you get an internship? If you’re willing to relocate, try applying to all available jobs and tell them how committed you are. The shortage means there should some employers willing to take you on and train you.

 
 

[...] for the District of Columbia Consolidated Forensics & Public Health Laboratory, was reportedly being paid more than $230,000. Compare that to the average annual salary of $38,443 for biological science technicians in the [...]

 
Comment by NA Subscribed to comments via email

I would be willing to work 115 hours a week for any crime lab in the country if they would allow me to. Anyone think a crime lab (working as a DNA technician) would allow me to work 115 hours a week? I would be willing to work 115 hours a week for 20 dollars per hour.

Have you been drinking again, NA? ;)

 
 
Comment by Donald Bogges Subscribed to comments via email

Can you tell me what the minimum qualifications would be for Forsensic
DNA jobs ? Thanks

 

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