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Road traffic accident investigator

Road traffic accident investigators carry out examinations to work out why an accident happened.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 variable

You could work: on call; on shifts

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Road traffic accident investigator jobs in 2025.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • examining vehicles and vehicle parts
  • creating plans of the scene and making time and distance studies
  • working out vehicle speed through the amount of crush damage
  • checking tachograph information on vehicles
  • getting technical information from vehicle manufacturers
  • producing reports
  • acting as an expert witness

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
University

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
Work

You could join the police service as an officer or part of the civilian support staff and work in a road policing department, while doing qualifications on the job in traffic collision investigation.

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.

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
  • customer service skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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