Becoming a Computer Forensics Specialist via Online Education?

At the very least, online education can help you lay a foundation and/or open up alternate career paths. Strayer University is a US school (accredited) offering computer forensics courses to train individuals to become top-notch computer forensics specialists, computer security specialists, computer and information scientists, computer support specialists, forensics professionals, etc. Currently, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 512,720 people employed as computer systems analysts alone in America, and their average annual salary is $80,430. Computer support specialists make on average $47,360 per year and there are about 540,560 of them employed today. Colleges and universities like Strayer University that provide online education are successfully launching workers into this field.

Typical Work Locations for a Computer Forensics Specialist
  • at home
  • in an office
  • at a desk
  • police station
  • the irs
  • in a school building
  • in a business complex
  • in the backroom at a computer store
  • at customer houses
  • in an airport
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as a Computer Forensics Specialist
  • able to access areas in the computer's storage space that an average computer user may not even know exist and that which holds data hat can prove to be useful evidence
  • attractive salary
  • it provides you the exposure to the latest information technology as it is the key tool to enable you to perform your job efficiently and effectively
  • the excitement and challenges
  • able to keep yourself up to date and develop your skills at the same time
  • makes a great contribution to law enforcement and with computers becoming more ubiquitous
  • develop computer knowledge
  • there a large disparity in salary between private sector and governent jobs in forensics
  • financial flexability and open a practice
  • trustworthy individual with no disturbing background
Potential Drawbacks
  • proving authenticity
  • long hours sitting
  • hard to communicate the results
  • takes a long time to retrieve important data
  • new and not so recognized profession
  • must keep updated with technical knowledge
  • challenging tasks
  • work alone
  • some work may be admissible in court
  • charging rate might be too expensive
Related Professions to Consider
  • Software Engineer
  • Computer Forensics Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Computer Forensics Principal Leader
  • Analytic & Forensic Technology
  • Computer Forensics Examiner
  • Adjunct Instructor
  • Computer Media Specialist
  • Senior Network and Threat Media Forensics Support
  • Forensics Industry Expert
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be a Computer Forensics Specialist
  • What is an MD5 Checksum and how it used in Forensics?
  • What other hashing algorithms are used besides MD5?
  • What is a bit level image and how is that different from an ISO?
  • In your average investigation Please describe the steps to take from start to completeing the report to take to court?
  • Do all forensic investigations go to court If not why If so why?
  • What is the SAM file and which operating system has it?
  • Do any other operating systems have a SAM file if so what is it and how would you get to it?
  • What is the major difference between Linux and Windows and Mac when doing an investigation?
  • What is Data Carving and in which cases would you use it?
  • How would you Image a hard drive on a system that can not be shut down?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Insurance agencies
  • judges
  • media
  • investigators
  • Criminal prosecutors
  • record keeping
  • track network activity
  • Counterintelligence
  • steganography
  • file transfer examination
Computer Forensics Specialist Training books Computer Forensics Specialist (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Analysis of digital media
  • Computer and Network security
  • Criminal evidence and investigation
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • cyber crime
  • ethics and Trigonometry
  • Forensics internship
  • Introduction to computer forensics
  • Introduction to criminal justice
  • Speech and Government

Computer Forensics Specialist Salary Information

Category: Computer support specialists

Total # Employed in the US 540,560
Average Hourly Wage: $22.77/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$13.08 $16.5 $21.3 $27.54 $34.95
Average Yearly Salary $47,360
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$27,200 $34,320 $44,300 $57,290 $72,690
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
1.0% 12.5% 29.4% 16.0% 33.1% 7.2% 0.9%
Computer support specialists — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Missouri $28.96/hr $60,230
Florida $27.85/hr $57,920
Delaware $26.89/hr $55,920
District of Columbia $26.27/hr $54,630
Colorado $25.52/hr $53,080
Oklahoma $25.27/hr $52,570
Mississippi $24.98/hr $51,950
Connecticut $24.9/hr $51,790
North Dakota $24.62/hr $51,210
Kansas $24.53/hr $51,010
Arkansas $23.27/hr $48,400
North Carolina $23.01/hr $47,860
Nebraska $22.93/hr $47,700
Wyoming $22.76/hr $47,330
Indiana $22.71/hr $47,240
Idaho $22.64/hr $47,100
Alaska $22.63/hr $47,070
New York $22.42/hr $46,630
Puerto Rico $22.3/hr $46,380
Oregon $22.1/hr $45,960
Ohio $21.73/hr $45,190
Tennessee $21.47/hr $44,650
Montana $21.32/hr $44,350
Virginia $21.25/hr $44,210
New Hampshire $20.79/hr $43,250
Utah $20.79/hr $43,250
Wisconsin $20.78/hr $43,220
Massachusetts $20.74/hr $43,150
Guam $20.59/hr $42,830
Michigan $20.31/hr $42,250
Alabama $20.16/hr $41,940
Louisiana $20.12/hr $41,850
South Carolina $20.07/hr $41,750
Washington $20.02/hr $41,640
Maine $19.75/hr $41,090
Kentucky $19.54/hr $40,630
Hawaii $19.39/hr $40,320
New Mexico $19.33/hr $40,200
Iowa $19.31/hr $40,160
Maryland $19.13/hr $39,780
Nevada $18.59/hr $38,670
New Jersey $18.2/hr $37,850
South Dakota $18.03/hr $37,500
California $18.02/hr $37,480
Pennsylvania $17.95/hr $37,350
West Virginia $16.89/hr $35,140


Category: Computer specialists, all other

Total # Employed in the US 195,890
Average Hourly Wage: $37.5/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$20.04 $28.11 $37.02 $46.58 $55.31
Average Yearly Salary $78,010
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$41,680 $58,460 $77,010 $96,890 $115,050
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.6% 6.4% 17.0% 10.5% 44.3% 18.7% 2.5%
Computer specialists, all other — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $50.04/hr $104,080
Mississippi $45.76/hr $95,190
Colorado $39.12/hr $81,360
Missouri $39.03/hr $81,190
Alabama $37.74/hr $78,490
Connecticut $37.33/hr $77,650
Oklahoma $37.27/hr $77,530
Alaska $37.22/hr $77,430
Kansas $37.21/hr $77,400
Wyoming $37.03/hr $77,030
Idaho $36.89/hr $76,740
Delaware $36.75/hr $76,440
Utah $36.69/hr $76,310
Indiana $36.64/hr $76,200
Nevada $36.48/hr $75,870
Ohio $36.46/hr $75,830
New Hampshire $36.46/hr $75,840
South Dakota $36.31/hr $75,530
Virginia $36.1/hr $75,100
Nebraska $35.45/hr $73,740
Maine $35.23/hr $73,290
Arkansas $35.16/hr $73,120
North Dakota $35.08/hr $72,970
Oregon $34.97/hr $72,730
Massachusetts $34.91/hr $72,610
South Carolina $34.61/hr $71,980
West Virginia $34.06/hr $70,850
Puerto Rico $33.9/hr $70,500
Guam $33.45/hr $69,580
New Mexico $33.09/hr $68,820
Tennessee $32.66/hr $67,930
North Carolina $32.55/hr $67,710
Michigan $32.48/hr $67,560
District of Columbia $32.16/hr $66,880
Maryland $31.9/hr $66,340
Montana $31.81/hr $66,170
Washington $31.37/hr $65,240
New York $31.12/hr $64,720
Kentucky $30.45/hr $63,340
Hawaii $30.41/hr $63,260
Wisconsin $29.99/hr $62,380
Louisiana $29.73/hr $61,830
Pennsylvania $28.57/hr $59,430
Iowa $27.53/hr $57,260
New Jersey $27.35/hr $56,890
California $27.02/hr $56,200


Category: Forensic science technicians

Total # Employed in the US 12,870
Average Hourly Wage: $26.47/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$15.59 $19.39 $24.75 $31.84 $40.51
Average Yearly Salary $55,070
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$32,420 $40,340 $51,480 $66,240 $84,260
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
2.6% 17.5% 23.9% 12.6% 29.7% 9.4% 4.2%
Forensic science technicians — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Missouri $39.4/hr $81,950
Maine $35.3/hr $73,430
Florida $33.59/hr $69,870
Kansas $32.86/hr $68,350
Colorado $32.06/hr $66,690
Massachusetts $29.6/hr $61,570
Mississippi $28.81/hr $59,920
Montana $27.07/hr $56,300
Connecticut $26.96/hr $56,080
South Carolina $26.47/hr $55,060
Indiana $26.41/hr $54,940
Tennessee $26.23/hr $54,560
New Jersey $25.95/hr $53,970
Arkansas $25.78/hr $53,620
Alabama $25.71/hr $53,490
Ohio $25.64/hr $53,340
South Dakota $25.01/hr $52,030
Iowa $24.66/hr $51,290
Idaho $24.51/hr $50,980
North Dakota $24.23/hr $50,390
Kentucky $23.08/hr $48,010
Wyoming $22.35/hr $46,490
Guam $22.16/hr $46,090
Wisconsin $22.08/hr $45,920
New Hampshire $21.74/hr $45,210
Hawaii $21.59/hr $44,910
Oregon $21.17/hr $44,030
Maryland $20.18/hr $41,970
New Mexico $19.76/hr $41,090
Washington $19.52/hr $40,600
California $18.89/hr $39,280


Computer Forensics Programs by State & City