What is a forensic chemist?

A forensic chemist is a person who analyzes a variety of substances, most often for law enforcement purposes, but also for research and product testing. Within law enforcement a forensic chemist analyzes organic and inorganic evidence to help solve crimes, often using seemingly unrelated evidence.

A forensic chemist follows strict procedures in a laboratory. The chemist could be standing or sitting for hours running and re-running the same tests on a substance. Some of the tests include x-rays, UV, gas chromatography, and microscopy. The chemist must document every test and all findings when examining a substance. A forensic chemist must also be able to defend their findings in a court of law, or via peer review and defend challenges to those findings if necessary.