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Forensic collision investigator

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 variable

You could work: on call; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Forensic collision investigator jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work on the road or in an office.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • 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 like AiTS. 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.

After the foundation degree, you can 'top up' to the BSc (Hons) Professional Studies in Forensic Road Collision Investigation.

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, including maths or science, or the UCPD in Forensic Road Collision Investigation, for the foundation degree
For more information

You could do a forensic collision investigator degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • have a full driving licence

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join The Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators, for professional recognition and training opportunities.

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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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