Crime Scene Investigator Hours – How Much Do They Work?

What hours do crime scene investigators work? Is it true that they are on call 24 hours a day? These are common questions asked by individuals thinking of pursuing a career in crime scene investigating. Because crimes can happen at anytime without notice, most crime scene investigators (CSIs) rotate on-call responsibilities on a bi-weekly basis. While on call, a CSI must be available to report to a crime scene immediately, even if the call is received after “normal” working hours.

Crime Scene Investigator Job Description

CSIs collect and analyze evidence taken from the scene of murders, robberies, sexual assaults, and other crimes. Evidence found at a crime scene can include anything from weapons, clothing, and fingerprints to fibers, human hair, and blood spatter.

Some people are surprised to find out that only a small portion of a CSI’s time is spent at the crime scene. The rest of their time is spent inside the law enforcement agency’s lab evaluating evidence under a microscope and documenting their results.

What are the education requirements to be a crime scene investigator?

Most agencies require a bachelor’s degree to become a crime scene investigator. Because much of their work occurs in a laboratory setting, a background in science is preferred.

crime scene tape

Crime Scene Investigating vs. Crime Scene Cleaning

A common misconception is that the duties of a crime scene cleaner are similar to that of a crime scene investigator. However, their duties vary greatly, as do their required credentials.

Crime scene cleaners, unlike crime scene investigators, are not a branch of law enforcement and do not collect, process, or handle the evidence found at a crime scene. Crime scene cleaners specialize in removing the blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials (PIM) from a scene after it has been processed by the crime scene investigators and forensics team.

Key similarities and differences:

Job Description

Crime Scene Cleaner

Crime Scene Investigator

Services are requested by the family or property owner



Long, unpredictable hours



Assists with solving crimes



Handles potentially infectious material



With almost 20 years of experience in crime scene cleaning, Aftermath is the nation’s leading bioremediation company. Our goal is not only to restore a crime scene to a sanitary and livable state, but also to ease the emotional trauma of those dealing with the aftereffects of a homicide, suicide, unattended death, or other trauma. Our services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us anytime.