Television shows like NCIS and CSI tend to idealize the world of crime solving. However, the professions portrayed in these series can be both fulfilling and lucrative. There may be less drama in real life science, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. Whether someone wants to delve into DNA, imagine themselves in imaging or use their computer skills to investigate misdeeds, these jobs provide a steady and substantial paycheck.

Netflix Binger? 3 Careers from Crime Shows That Are Actually Successful

Crime Laboratory Analyst

Crime laboratory analysts are ubiquitous on television. They hunch over DNA specimens in their spotless modern labs, examining evidence and dashing around in white lab coats when they make a breakthrough. Actual analysts may not be as glamorous as their fictional counterparts, but their function is equally important. Trained in forensic science, analysts evaluate crucial evidence from DNA and body fluids to help solve crimes. Most crime laboratory analysts specialize in a certain area like forensic chemistry, DNA or firearms. Most criminalists in this field have a four-year degree in forensic science, biology or chemistry. Some higher-paying analysts may even have a medical degree. Analyst salaries range from a median pay of $56,000 to as much as $90,000 per year.

Radiologic Technologist

When television detectives need to dig deeper, they turn to MRI and x-rays. Sometimes, an MRI can reveal clues about how a victim died or an x-ray can prove that a dead body was tampered with. Real-life MRIs may not be as dramatic as the ones in crime shows, but they’re still important. Radiologic technologists who specialize in high-demand areas like oncology can make a respectable $95,000 a year working in their field. Best of all, degrees in radiology science can take as little as two years to complete, making it a good option for those who want to work in healthcare, but don’t want the excessive debt of medical school. Some programs offer online bachelor in radiation science technology degrees. As the healthcare sector continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the healthcare field has solid job security.

Computer Forensic Investigator

While onscreen forensics experts are scoping out crime scenes and analyzing DNA, fictional computer forensic analysts are firmly planted in their desk chairs, clacking away at their keyboards and pointing to meaningless code on their impossibly large monitors. Off the screen, real computer forensic investigators have the more mundane job of sifting through computing equipment and looking for evidence of crimes. This can range from hunting down data indicating financial malfeasance to unearthing deleted documents and pictures on hard drives. Most investigators need at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer forensics and should also have a GCFA certification to work in the field. Computer forensic investigation can be a very lucrative sector. If you like the idea of forensics but don’t necessarily want the computer-based side, you could consider being a forensic nurse. These professionals work in employee litigation, risk management, and human rights abuse. The average salary is around $81,800.00 for forensic nurse professionals.

Viewers fascinated with the exciting careers shown on the small screen can achieve their goals. Whether they are interested in medicine, biology or computers, these fields provide a gateway to profitable and compelling work. Building a career in computer forensics, medical imaging or forensic science can help ensure professional and financial success.