Fingerprint officer apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university courseapplying directly
You could give yourself an advantage by doing a relevant degree in:
- forensic science
- applied science
You'll usually need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
Each police service sets its own entry requirements, but to start as a trainee fingerprint officer you'll often need one or more of the following:
Police services will carry out checks into your background and employment history. This might also include checks on your close family members. Some knowledge of forensic and photographic techniques is helpful though not essential.
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including maths, English and a science subject
- A-Levels or equivalent qualifications
- experience of working in the police service
Fingerprint officer apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of public safety and security
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work on your own
legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to:
- pass security checks
- pass enhanced background checks
You'll usually need a driving licence.
Fingerprint officer apprenticeships - what you'll do
As a fingerprint officer, you could:
- attend crime scenes to collect fingerprint evidence
- take prints from bodies at incident scenes or in a mortuary
- compare prints with those of suspects
- scan police fingerprint forms into national fingerprint database systems
- analyse prints and marks to uncover links between crime scenes
- work with forensic staff to collect traces of other evidence left by fingerprints
- eliminate prints to rule out people not under suspicion
- classify records and maintain fingerprint databases
- prepare and present evidence for investigators and for court
- attend training on new fingerprint methods and technology
You could work in a laboratory.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression - Fingerprint officer apprenticeships
With experience, you could become a senior fingerprint officer or scientific support manager. With further training, you could become a scenes of crime officer (SOCO), or move into forensics or criminal intelligence work.