Forensic Collision Investigator

Job Description:

Forensic collision investigators use science and engineering to investigate the causes of road traffic and vehicle related incidents.

Job Category:
Government & Public Services

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • attend the scene of fatal and life-threatening road traffic collisions
  • examine vehicles and vehicle parts
  • create plans of the scene and make time and distance studies
  • work out vehicle speed through the amount of crush damage
  • check tachograph information on vehicles
  • get technical information from vehicle manufacturers
  • produce reports
  • give evidence to the investigation team or the Courts


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 confidently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Forensic Collision Investigator, you should aim for a strong educational foundation in relevant subjects, although there are no specific requirements for this career. However, certain subjects and skills can be advantageous. Here is a list of subjects and skills that can be beneficial for aspiring Forensic Collision Investigators:

  1. Mathematics: A solid understanding of mathematics is essential for analysing collision data, calculating measurements, and reconstructing accidents.
  2. Physics: Physics knowledge can help you understand the principles of motion, energy, and forces involved in collisions.
  3. Biology: While not directly related to collision investigation, biology can provide a good foundation in scientific methodology and critical thinking.
  4. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are necessary for documenting your findings and presenting your analysis.
  5. Geography: Geography can be useful for understanding geographical factors that may contribute to accidents, such as road conditions and weather patterns.
  6. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computer software and technology can aid in data analysis and accident reconstruction.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies


You could get into this job by taking a course through a professional body. In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • University Certificate of Professional Development (UCPD) Forensic Road Collision Investigation
  • Foundation Degree in Forensic Road Collision Investigation

The certificate is the starting point if you want to become a forensic road collision investigator and have no experience of investigating road collisions. You would then move on to the foundation degree.

Qualifications are offered on a part-time basis through a mix of online and classroom learning.


You could do a forensic collision investigator degree apprenticeship.


If you work as a police officer or insurance investigator, you may be able to take qualifications on the job in traffic collision investigation to move into this role.

Direct Application

You may be able to apply for an investigator job if you have qualifications and several years’ experience in engineering, technical testing or health and safety.

Other Routes

You could take a private training course in road traffic investigation. It’s important to check that the course you do is approved by a recognised awarding body or institution.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work on call on shifts.

You could work on the road or in an office. Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into management or work on a freelance or consultancy basis.