Fingerprint Officer

Job Description:

Fingerprint officers work to identify fingerprints taken from crime scenes.

Job Category:
Government & Public Services

What you will do:

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


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work on your own (drive)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a fingerprint officer, specific GCSE subjects are not typically required, but certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for skills and knowledge that are valuable in this field. Fingerprint officers work in law enforcement and forensic science, primarily focusing on the collection, analysis, and classification of fingerprints. Here are some recommended GCSE subjects that can be beneficial for aspiring fingerprint officers:

  1. Science: General science knowledge, particularly biology and chemistry, can be valuable for understanding forensic techniques and laboratory work.
  2. Mathematics: Basic mathematical skills are important for measurements and calculations when analyzing and comparing fingerprints.
  3. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Familiarity with computer applications and data management can be useful for digital fingerprint databases and forensic software.
  4. Design and Technology: This subject can provide practical skills that may be relevant for handling forensic equipment and tools.
  5. English: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for documenting findings, preparing reports, and potentially testifying in court.

Post School

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

Direct Application

Each police service sets its own entry requirements.

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

Career tips

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

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 42-44 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays at short notice.

You could work in a laboratory. Your working environment may be emotionally demanding. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & 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.