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Forensic Sciences careers at DEA: Forensic Chemists |  Fingerprint Specialists | Forensic Computer Specialists

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Forensic Chemists (Back to Top)

Forensic ChemistsDo you have that special chemistry with DEA? As a Forensic Chemist, you will combat scientifically sophisticated illicit drug manufacturers. Unusual compounds are constantly produced and sold in the illicit drug market, and you will use your analytical skills and abilities to aid enforcement of federal regulations in reducing the availability of such drugs for abuse. Forensic Chemists analyze evidence for the presence of controlled substances using state-of-the-art instrumentation, provide expert testimony in courts of law, support DEA Special Agents in their investigations, conduct research involving new methods of drug analysis, develop intelligence data used to determine trends in local and international drug trafficking, and provide training to Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. When it comes to changing the future of illicit drug markets, you will be an integral part of exchanging information with international, federal, state and local academic research, and industrial organizations.


DEA recruits and hires Forensic Chemists from all levels of experience from recent college graduates to highly experienced chemists. All DEA Forensic Chemists must possess either:

A four-year degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the physical sciences, life sciences or engineering including 30 semester hours of chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics;


A combination of education and experience – course work equivalent to a major as stated above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Experience may include:

  • Conducting varied chemical analyses and tests and physical measurements;
  • Performing routine calculations such as determining concentration or the amount of a substance in a total sample based on analysis of a known portion of samples of narcotic and dangerous drugs; and
  • Writing laboratory reports.


DEA has opportunities for Forensic Chemists across the nation. DEA Forensic Chemists are subject to reassignment to any location in the United States depending on the needs of the DEA. All applicants must be available for relocation throughout their career with DEA. Applicants will be required to sign a statement to this effect when accepting an offer of employment.

Physical Requirements

Forensic Chemists must be able to perform work that involves prolonged standing and moderate lifting of evidence and instruments. Applicants will also be required to meet specific medical standards and receive a medical clearance.

Fingerprint Specialists (Back to Top)

Fingerprint SpecialistsAs a DEA Fingerprint Specialist, you will have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art examination techniques to develop latent prints, assist in crime scene investigations, provide testimony in courts of law, and conduct training for law enforcement officials.


DEA is looking for Fingerprint Specialists who have experience:

  • Performing latent print examinations;
  • Preparing written laboratory reports based on examinations;
  • Testifying as an expert witness in the area of latent print examinations;
  • Analyzing complex fingerprint cases and imperfect and partial latent fingerprint impressions that contain only the minimum number of points necessary to make an identification;
  • Conducting methods development projects to improve latent fingerprint examination capabilities; and
  • Using highly technical and advanced laboratory equipment and complex chemical mixtures along with complicated scientific techniques in print examinations.

Forensic Computer Examiners (Back to Top)

Forensic Computer ExaminersAs a DEA Computer Forensic Examiner, you will be in the forefront of digital evidence collection. Computer Forensic Examiners recover and analyze digital evidence, provide expert testimony in courts of law, provide investigative support to law enforcement, and conduct training to law enforcement personnel.


DEA is looking for skilled Information Technology Professionals who have:

Experience :

  • Acquiring computer-related evidence using recovery methods, programming and algorithmic designs;
  • Installing, maintaining, configuring, or optimizing operating systems, databases, or communication networks;
  • Performing computer-related forensic examinations;
  • Analyzing a number of alternative approaches for the major aspects of IT system design; and
  • Explaining complex technical issues to non-technical audiences.

and/or Education :

  • Master's degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent in computer science, engineering, information science, information systems management, mathematics, operations research, statistics, or technology management. 
  • Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree OR 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in computer science, engineering, information science, information systems management, mathematics, operations research, statistics, or technology management OR a degree that provided a minimum of 24 semester hours in one or more of the fields identified above and required the development or adaptation of applications, systems or networks.


Forensic Chemists, Fingerprint Specialists and Forensic Computer Examiners must successfully complete a training program that includes instruction on ethics, integrity, evidence handling procedures, analytical procedures, instrumental techniques, and court procedures.


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