Forensic radiology is an area of medical imaging that investigates the who, what, when and how questions of certain legal matters. If you get a job working in this field, you could end up analyzing both living and dead subjects.
Get your bachelor's degree in a science field, such as chemistry or physics, that will set you up for graduate studies in forensic radiology. Look for intro classes to forensic sciences and take as many lab courses as you can to become familiar with various kinds of instruments. Consider taking a few electives in the legal department to learn a little about the justice system.
Complete your graduate studies in radiology or forensic sciences. You may have to find a school that will let you design your own course of study, since these programs often don't have a track that focuses solely on radiology. Learn about other methods for forensic analysis; radiological equipment may not always be available or represent the best choice for accurate data collection.
Keep your criminal record clean. Convictions, even those for certain misdemeanors, can compromise your ability to get a job as a forensic radiologist, since many positions are state jobs in the legal or law enforcement departments.
Search industry websites such as the American Society of Forensic Scientists for jobs (see Resources below). Expect to relocate to get a job in forensic radiology, since these positions are often scarce and highly competitive.
Go through the necessary background checks and training required to get your forensic radiology job. Take law enforcement education classes if you are going to work for the state or federal government. Find out whom to contact if you have questions about methods for performing a radiological analysis or handling certain types of evidence.
Things You Will Need
- Bachelor's degree in a science field
- Master's degree in forensic science with a focus on radiology
- Once you start working as a forensic scientist, start doing activities to release the stress of the job. Realize that small errors could spoil an entire case or investigation, so keep your stress under control to enhance your attention to detail and accuracy.
- Professional licenses may not be required for some jobs, but they add weight to your application.
- Don't plan to go into forensic radiology if you have qualms about working at crime scenes or with victims and criminals.