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Does being a CSI mean you'll constantly be called in to work at any time of the day?

I want to be CSI but I don't want to a workaholic . Plus, I plan to have a family in the future, and I don;t want my job to interfere with the quality time I'll have with my family. #csi #law-enforcement #police-and-law-enforcement #forensic-science

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Joaquin’s Answer

Just like any other job, there will be certain expectations that you will have to deal with when you choose to accept that job. One expectation will be to respond to a crime scene soon after it occurs to collect evidence so that the evidence does not get altered or have any deleterious changes before it is analyzed by a crime lab. Many agencies handle their crime scene rotation differently and have a small, medium, or large staff to handle their demand for CSI work. If you are at an agency that requires you to show up at any hour of the day, you will have to be compensated for that work (on-call pay, time-off, OT pay...etc.).

Joaquin recommends the following next steps:

It would be best to research an agency you plan on applying a job at and ask them what those expectations will be once you are hired as a CSI.
Determine whether that works for your lifestyle. You may find out that you love the work so much that you don't mind the 2 AM phone calls because you are fascinated so much with the work you do.

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Kim’s Answer


In a reasonable size department, there will be CSI people assigned to all shifts, just like police officers. It might take a while to get to the shift you want, or, instead of permanent assignments, there could be rotating shifts. Before accepting a job, it is important to know how they handle shift assignments .

In smaller departments, you would have a likelihood of getting called in. Also, in larger departments, if you are specialized in something that is pertinent to a particular crime, you would possibly be called in. And of course, if there was a major crime spree with lots of evidence to collect, regardless where you work, expect to get called in.

Many people successfully raise families while working shiftwork subject to call back, both in the law enforcement and medical communities. If this is something you really want, you will manage to find a way to make it all work. When I was an officer, we frequently traded shifts with other officers so we could go to functions with our families. There was rarely any trouble finding someone to trade with, as people knew that if they needed something someday, you could be counted on to repay the favor.

Besides, your kids would be really proud of having a mom who is a CSI! One day my son and his friends were doing chalk silhouettes on the driveway!