Sometimes, the money interferes with a person’s ability to further his or her education. However, an individual can achieve his or her dream of entering into crime scene investigation by finding an affordable CSI degree. One way to save money is by applying to a community college for general credits or an associate’s degree. These classes provide the necessary education without the hefty fee. Once a person completes the credits or program, he or she can use the credits toward a degree at a regular college or university.
When figuring out if a person can afford school, he or she should look into employer reimbursement. Some employers offer this option. However, a person must complete the program, and it must be approved by the employer. Once a person completes the program, his or her employer provides some of the funding for tuition. Grants and scholarships are another option. A person can find them through the state and federal government as well as through private organizations and individuals.
How We Ranked the Most Affordable CSI Degrees in the US
To rank the most affordable CSI degree programs, Bachelor’s Degree Center considered only accredited, trustworthy colleges and universities. For the ranking itself, however, programs are presented in order by their tuition costs, according to current IPEDS data.
1. John Jay College of Criminal Justice
John Jay College of Criminal Justice offers a BS in Forensic Science that students can use to further their career as a crime scene investigator. Forensics is a unique science. Students who choose this course of study learn to preserve evidence, identify possible abnormalities within an environment, and secure a crime scene. Learning these skills will allow the graduate to perform their duties and be as diligent and exact as possible. With an affordable CSI degree, the graduate will be one step closer to fulfilling their dream of becoming a crime scene investigator.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice is part of the City University of New York. The college offers a complete curriculum that is dedicated to the study of Criminal Justice and all fields associated with it. Faculty members are professionals in various aspects of criminology. With their years of experience and knowledge of the subject matter, they can help each student navigate along their path to become a crime scene investigator or other types of law enforcement offer.
Degree: Forensic Science, BS
John Jay College of Criminal Justice BS in Forensic Science
2. Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College offers a BS in Public Safety Management: Crime Scene Investigation that gives students an opportunity to learn all of the required skills to become a field agent, specializing in crime scene investigation. Processing crime scenes is only one of many skills that are needed to be successful in this type of career. The graduate must be able to interview prospective suspects and also be able to solve complicated scenarios effectively and efficiently. Affordable CSI degrees make it possible for a graduate to pursue their dream job.
Miami Dade College is well-respected throughout the state of Florida and the southeastern United States. The College offers one of the best CSI/Public Safety Management curriculums in the industry. Teachers and faculty members are both dedicated to ensuring that each graduate is well on their way to completing all of their career goals. They offer both support and encouragement as well as providing them with the knowledge they can use from a first-hand perspective.
Degree: Public Safety Management: Crime Scene Investigation, BS
3. Indiana University
Indiana University offers a BS in Forensic and Investigative Sciences so that students who are interested in pursuing a career as a crime scene investigator can have the advantage. Skills that students require for this type of degree program include being able to properly secure a crime scene, identify and collect evidence, identify various patterns, and also have an exacting eye for details. Affordable CSI degrees can help students learn these skills and give them an advantage when it comes to applying for CSI-related positions.
Indiana University has a solid reputation for being one of top schools in the country when it comes forensic and investigative sciences. Faculty members and instructors have both the experience and the knowledge to guide students along their chosen career path. The curriculum offered by the university is one of the best in the nation and designed to provide each graduate with all the tools and resources they will need.
Degree: Forensic and Investigative Sciences B.S.
Indiana University BS in Forensic and Investigative Sciences
4. University of North Carolina at Pembroke
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke provides students with a BIS degree in Criminal Justice Studies. This degree is ideal for students who are already working in the field of criminal justice and are interested in pursuing a career as a crime scene investigator or criminologist. Students are able to learn about forensics, interrogation strategies, and other skills that are required to perform these jobs satisfactorily. Affordable CSI degrees provide you with all of the knowledge and skills you need to be the best investigator you can be.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke takes pride in the reputation it has built for itself when it comes to award-winning curriculums and state of the art technology. Every student that enrolls in the criminal justice program, receives one on one attention from some of the best instructors in the business. Students who earn their degree from the university can graduate knowing they are fully prepared to succeed in whatever career path they choose.
Degree: Criminal Justice Studies, BIS
5. Arizona State University
Arizona State University provides students with a BS in Forensic Science that can be used to pursue a career in crime scene investigations. To be an effective crime scene investigator, students must understand how to identify and process evidence, conduct interviews, and take the necessary steps to secure an area that is believed to be a crime scene. Students who are ready to move forward in their careers can find affordable CSI programs to help them get started.
Arizona State University goes to great lengths to maintain its reputation as one of the most respected schools of learning in the southwest. The curriculum it offers for its Forensic Science degree programs is one of the most thorough in the industry and provides students with everything they need to become a reputable crime scene investigator. With guidance from the faculty and staff, students are able to create the career path they have always wanted.
Degree: Forensic Science, BS
6. University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama offers an in-depth Forensic Science program that includes specializations for criminology, coroner, law enforcement, and crime scene investigation. These degree programs offer the required skills to work effectively within these fields. Chemistry, biology, forensics, communications, scene preservation, and many other courses are taught in these affordable CSI degree programs. Students who are interested in forensics can graduate with all the skills they are looking for.
The University of North Alabama is considered one of the best in the state. Online classes offer the same, well-designed curriculum as those taught on campus. Students have access to professional faculty members as well as all of the resources the university has to offer. Flexible schedules allow students to learn and work at the same time. Graduates receive the encouragement and support they need to excel in whatever forensics field they choose to enter.
Degree: Forensic Science
7. Buffalo State University
Buffalo State University offers a BS in Forensic Chemistry for students who are looking for an affordable CSI degree. Forensic chemistry requires several skills that are highly precise. This includes working with DNA, chemical analysis, and processing various types of evidence that includes both body fluids and several different chemicals. Pursuing this particular degree program ensures that you will have what you need to work both in the field as well as in the laboratory.
Buffalo State University provides students with a Forensic Chemistry curriculum that is one of the best in the industry. Students are given every advantage to excel through the use of the university’s state-of-the-art laboratory and the support they are given by both faculty and instructors. Once a graduate receives their diploma, they are on their way to creating a career path that allows them to achieve their goals.
Degree: Forensic Chemistry, B.S.
8. University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi has a BS in Forensic Chemistry that is available to students who are looking for affordable CSI degree programs. Forensic Chemistry is one of many different specializations students can choose from if they are interested in a criminal justice career. Students who are interested in crime scene investigation positions can also benefit from having a BS in Forensic Chemistry. These degrees offer a variety of skills that can be used in many different criminal justice careers.
The University of Mississippi offers a state-of-the-art Criminal Justice laboratory that is well-known for its state-of-the-art technology. Faculty and instructors at the university have many years of experience and are able to provide the guidance these students need to excel in whatever type of job they accept after graduation.
Degree: Forensic Chemistry, BS
9. Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University offers a BS in Chemistry-Forensic Science that is considered to be one of the most affordable CSI degree programs in the area. Students who enroll in the university’s chemistry and forensic science programs learn how to properly process different types of evidence, analyze all types of substances, and create detailed reports for investigations. Students who are interested in becoming a professional crime scene investigator can use what they gain from these courses to create the career they want.
Appalachian State University is a proven leader when it comes to providing quality education. From its exceptional curriculum to the faculty members who are proven professionals, students have access to the best education possible. The university staff is committed to assisting each graduate reach their career goals and succeed at whatever type of employment they choose in the criminal justice field.
Degree: Chemistry- Forensic Science, BS
10. Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University provides a BS in Forensic Science degree for students who are interested in a criminal justice degree with a forensics specialization. This is an affordable CSI degree that provides skills that are needed to process evidence and assist in law enforcement in solving a variety of crimes. This is a degree that is well-suited for students who plan on becoming crime scene investigators after they graduate. A BS in Forensic Science is one of the more detailed degree programs and offers a wealth of unique skills.
Eastern Kentucky University has been voted as one of the 25 Best Bachelor’s in Forensic Science programs by the Bachelor’s Degree Center. The university’s faculty and staff stand behind the curriculums they offer. Students receive both encouragement and support from their instructors and have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and resources they can use to get the most out of their education.
Degree: Forensic Science, BS
How Much Does a Crime Scene Investigator Make?
Before a person decides on a career in crime scene investigation, he or she may wonder how much does a crime scene examiner make. Fortunately, the answer to how much does a crime scene investigator make is a decent living. As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average crime scene investigation salaries are around $86,030 per year. In terms of an hourly rate, crime scene investigator salaries are around $41.36.
In certain facilities, crime scene investigation salaries are higher than the average. For example, in the federal executive branch of the government, a person usually makes around $107,150 per year. This CSI salary is the same as $51.51 per hour. The postal service is also known for offering higher CSI salaries. Crime scene investigator salaries within the postal service are usually around $101,140 per year. This CSI salary is equivalent to $49.63 per hour.
If a person is asking how much does a crime scene examiner make, he or she should understand that the answer to how much does a crime scene investigator make varies based on his or her location. CSI salaries are higher in states like Alaska, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The answer to how much does a crime scene examiner make in Alaska is around $113.420 per year. Moreover, the answer to how much does a CSI make in Hawaii is around $109,320 per year. Additionally, how much does a CSI make in California is around $107,760 yearly.
The average salary for CSI in New Jersey is around $103,460 per year. In terms of an hourly rate, the average salary for CSI in New Jersey is $49.74. In Massachusetts, the average salary of a CSI is $102,350 annually. This means that the average salary of a CSI in terms of an hourly rate is $49.21.
Will a CSI Certification Help My Career?
To enter into the field of crime scene investigation, a person requires at least a bachelor’s degree, not just a CSI certification. However, a CSI certification can help a person advance in his or her field. The CSI certifications available allow a person to specialize. Therefore, with CSI certifications, a person can obtain jobs that he or she may not able able to obtain if he or she doesn’t have special skills.
A CSI certification also lets prospective employers know the person is interested in the field and has taken the necessary steps to further his or her skills.
Besides CSI certifications allowing a person to stand out in the crowd, CSI certification programs can help a person achieve a higher pay rate.
With so many benefits of a crime scene investigation certification, a person may be glad to know that there are options for crime scene investigator certification online. A crime scene investigator certification online can be earned by a person in his or her home in his or her free time.
How Do I Start a CSI Career?
If the pay and responsibilities of a CSI agent appeal to a person, he or she may ask about how to get a job in crime scene investigation. If a person questions how to get a job in crime scene investigation, the first step is to obtain a CSI degree. It’s important to understand that the answer to how do I become a crime scene investigator is at least a bachelor’s degree.
If a person is asking how do I become a crime scene investigator and wants access to entry-level CSI jobs, a person should look into a science-based degree. Entry-level CSI jobs are usually open to individuals who have a degree in forensic science, biology, or chemistry.
Once a person earns a degree, he or she may obtain a job. In addition to a degree, a person may want to earn a certification as part of how to start a career in crime scene investigation. When a person earns certification as part of how to start a career in crime scene investigation, they have more options for jobs.