If you are considering a career in the growing field of computer forensics, working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an examiner is an excellent option. As a computer forensic examiner, you will recover, collect, analyze and present digital evidence for both non-cyber and computer-related crimes.
Other job duties include filling out reports for law enforcement officials, testifying in court about your discoveries and traveling to different locations to examine computers in-person. This line of work is essential in solving cases of fraud, identity theft and other cyber crimes against individuals, businesses and institutions. We’ve outlined exactly what you can expect if you’d like to become a computer forensic examiner.
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Education and Experience Requirements
There usually aren’t educational requirements associated with computer forensic examiner positions, however, a bachelor’s degree in a field such as computer science or criminal justice will give you a substantial leg up in the hiring process. There are also colleges and universities that offer degree programs in computer forensics specifically. These programs will often offer studies in cryptography, forensic analysis and computer networks.
Work experience is very important for candidates interested in working as a computer forensic examiner for the FBI. Past experience at a law enforcement agency will help train examiners on the latest digital forensics investigation techniques. And this experience will prepare them for work at other government agencies or private companies.
Licensure and Certifications for Computer Forensic Examiners
You may be required to be a licensed private investigator in order to become a computer forensic examiner in some states. Additionally, some organizations will prefer candidates with Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) credentials. These credentials are obtained through the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners (ICFCE) and indicates a high level of competency in the field to future clients and employers.
Other key skills needed to become a computer forensic examiner include proficiency in written and verbal communication, investigative skills, familiarity with the latest software, surveillance skills and knowledge regarding evidence collection laws and specifications.
Computer Forensic Examiner Salary
After receiving the proper training and education necessary to work as an examiner, an individual may find him/herself performing a variety of tasks in a variety of environments. Computer Forensic Examiners can work for law enforcement agencies, private firms or other businesses to recover data from computers and other storage devices and to detect and prevent cyber crimes from happening.
The median salary for computer forensic examiners as of 2012 was about $75,660 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this number depends greatly on whether an examiner’s career is in the private or public sector.
Due the growing relevance and occurrence of cyber crimes, the job outlook is favorable for computer forensic examiners. In fact, the job market for this career is expected to grow by 18 percent until 2024.
We live in an increasingly connected and plugged in world, which means more crimes involving computers will occur as time goes on. Get involved in this career ahead of the curve and help fight for those who are vulnerable to cyber attacks.