Criminalists work with "physical" evidence such as fibers, hairs, body fluids, drugs and alcohol, bullets, etc. They may compare evidence found at a scene or on or near an alleged perpetrator with evidence found on a decedent's body. They can specialize in their respective fields such as toxicology, trace evidence, DNA, ballistics, etc. These forensic scientists have a bachelor's or a master's degree in the medical field or in forensic science.
Medical Death Investigator:
These individuals go to crime scenes, hospitals and residences to investigate a death from a medical perspective. They gather pertinent information about the decedent including his/her medical history, circumstances surrounding death, and the surrounding environment. They take body temperatures, photographs and may draw biological samples. Most offices require a bachelor's degree or at least two years of college with study in the medical or law enforcement field.
The Autopsy Technician works under the direct supervision of the forensic pathologist. He/she prepares the decedent for autopsy or exam, incises and removes the organ block and collects body fluids for analysis. There is a lot of heavy lifting with this job. This job requires a high school diploma and knowledge in anatomy and physiology.
This is a dentist who specializes in the application of dental science to the identification of unknown human remains. They may also evaluate bite marks. This job requires a doctorate in medical dentistry.
These scientists specialize in the identification of human remains and are experts in osteology (the study of bones). They determine sex, age, stature and ethnicity of individuals based on the skeleton and evaluate skeletal injuries. This requires a masters or doctorate in anthropology.
Forensic Psychologist/ Forensic Psychiatrist:
These doctors provide psychosocial assessments of individuals, either victims or perpetrators of crimes. A psychologist has a PhD in psychology and a psychiatrist has an M.D. or D.O. degree from a reputable medical school and has completed a residency in psychiatry.
Forensic Pathologist (Medical Examiner):
A forensic pathologist is a physician who practices medicine as it deals with the law. He/she performs autopsies to determine cause and manner of death and also testifies in a court of law. This requires a D.O. or M.D. degree from a medical school, a residency in pathology and a fellowship in forensic pathology.