Fingerprint officer

Fingerprint officers check and compare fingerprints taken from crime scenes.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter

to

£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become a Fingerprint officer

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly

Direct application

Each police service sets its own entry requirements, but to start as a trainee fingerprint officer you'll find it useful to have:

  • 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, analytical work or work involving attention to detail

Police services will carry out checks into your background and employment history. This might also include checking on your close family members.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about this career from the College of Policing.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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
  • customer service skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work on your own
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

You'll usually need to have a driving licence. 

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • comparing crime scene prints with those of suspects
  • scanning police fingerprint forms into the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System 
  • comparing fingerprints against the National Fingerprint Database to produce a list of likely matches
  • analysing prints and marks to uncover links between crime scenes
  • eliminating prints found at the scene of people not under suspicion
  • classifying records and maintaining fingerprint databases
  • preparing evidence statements and presenting evidence in court
  • attending crime scenes to offer specialist advice
  • getting fingerprint samples from the deceased at the morgue

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a scenes of crime officer (SOCO).

With further training you could move into forensic science or become a criminal intelligence officer.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Fingerprint officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Extended Diploma in Public Services (QCF) (Ambulance, Police, Fire, Prison, Customs, Armed Forces, Public Services)

  • Provider: Barking & Dagenham College
  • Start date: 04 September 2019
  • Location: Romford

Public Services - Diploma In Public Services (Qcf)

  • Provider: HERTFORD REGIONAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Turnford

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