Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists
Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

Career Preparation - Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

Please visit the following link to download a .pdf  titled "Preparing for a Career in
Criminalistics: A guide for Current & prospective students."   This is written by Thomas W. Adair, a Regular SWAFS member since 2000.

Preparing for a Career in Criminalistics (Updated Dec 2007)[2 MB]

Short excerpt from the guide

"This guide was written for prospective and current students who wish to prepare for a successful and fulfilling career in forensic science and crime scene investigation. I use the terms successful and fulfilling because every position, and every individual, is a little different. Not every position in forensics will be right for you. Every position presents varying duties and responsibilities. It may take some time for you to appreciate these differences but if you consider the suggestions in this guide you will likely be well informed and make better decisions about planning your professional future. I have been a criminalist for over a decade and I can tell you it is the most rewarding career I could ever have hoped for."   

Thomas W. Adair
Senior Partner
Pioneer Forensics LLC

Tom is a Senior Partner with Pioneer Forensics LLC while also employed as a Senior Criminalist with the Westminster Police Department in the city of Westminster, Colorado. Tom has a Masters Degree in Entomology from Colorado State University and is Certified as a Footwear Examiner (CFWE) and Senior Crime Scene Analyst (CSCSA) with the International Association for Identification (IAI). He is the Editor for the Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction (ACSR), Board Member with NecroSearch International, and a past president of the Rocky Mountain Division of the International Association for Identification (RMDIAI), Rocky Mountain Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (RMABPA), and the Colorado AFIS Users Group. Tom also is serving on several boards and committees in various professional forensic organizations. He has authored and co-authored over three dozen scientific papers and regularly provides forensic training to various agencies and individuals.  Tom has provided expert testimony in Municipal, District, Federal, and Military Courts. Tom is actively engaged with research in footwear and blood evidence and is co-creator of the Colorado Forensic Footwear Information Network (COFFIN).