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Fingerprint officer

Alternative titles for this job include Fingerprint examiner

Fingerprint officers work to identify fingerprints taken from crime scenes.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays at short notice

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Fingerprint officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly


You could give yourself an advantage by doing a relevant degree in:

  • forensic science
  • criminology
  • applied science
  • chemistry
  • biology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

Direct Application

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:

  • 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

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

More Information

Career tips

Some knowledge of forensic and photographic techniques is helpful though not essential.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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
  • 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:

You'll usually need a driving licence.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

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Current 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


  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Barnsley

Public Services First Certificate

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Bexhill on Sea

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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