Select a language:

Forensic Specialist Intern Position

Forensic Specialist Intern (Unpaid Internship)

The Orange County Sheriff's Department is among the largest in the nation, providing exemplary law enforcement services focused on a collaborative, dedicated and innovative public approach. The OC Crime Lab provides scientific support to the law enforcement agencies and criminal justice system in Orange County by applying sound scientific principles to the collection and documentation of physical evidence; by ensuring thorough evaluation and interpretation of physical evidence; and by providing expert testimony and scientific support whenever needed.


This internship provides an opportunity for candidates to gain observational experience and job knowledge by participating in the day to day operation of the Identification Bureau at the OC Crime Lab. Interns will be exposed to a variety of tasks and will be directly supervised and mentored by working Forensic Specialists.

Duties vary, depending on current project needs.  Duties may include responding with CSI Specialists to crime scenes, data entrydigital imaging, clerical tasks, maintaining equipment and supplies, and assisting staff with the daily routine operations of the Identification Bureau.
Assignments may provide observational experience related to the following activities:

  • Identification and collection of DNA, fingerprints and physical evidence
  • Documentation and collection of firearms and toolmarks
  • Development and collection of fingerprints
  • Crime scene photography
  • Sketching and computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Latent print comparison
  • Documentation, collection, examination of footwear and tire track evidence
  • Deployment of high speed 3-D laser scanner

The OC Crime Lab is seeking applicants with the following qualifications:

  • Highly organized and dependable
  • Eager to gain professional experience
  • Ability to work independently
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite, including Word, Excel and Outlook.  
  • Good communication skills
  • Professional appearance and appropriate dress required
  • Able to complete assignments in a timely manner
  • Ability to pass a thorough background check 


Those applying for an internship with the OC Crime Lab are expected to have completed their third year at an accredited college or university prior to the start date of the internship and must be pursuing or have recently completed a bachelor's degree in forensic science, criminal justice, or photography.

Internships are offered primarily during the late summer/early fall months and require 10 or more hours per week for a minimum of 2 months  Internships may be extended depending on the needs of the department and the availability of the intern candidate. If selected, interns work one 10-hour shift per week, Monday through Friday only. There are two shifts available: day shift 6:00 am -4:30 pm and swing shift 3:00 pm - 1:30 am.

Although this is an unpaid internship that does not guarantee employment or include employee benefits, the position offers participants excellent experience working within a large, full-service forensic laboratory. It also provides an opportunity for interns to explore career options, gain knowledge and skills, build resumes and network with professionals in the forensic science field.

Candidates must upload a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcripts to be considered.  Selected candidates will be interviewed by the project(s) leader and intern coordinator in March.

  • The cover letter or letter of interest is an opportunity for applicants to describe career and academic goals and to elaborate upon personal interests/accomplishments related to the internship. Learn more about what to include in a cover letter HERE
  • The resume must include relevant education, work experiences and community involvement
  • The unofficial transcript(s) must include all undergraduate and any graduate coursework, except coursework in progress

Once an application is submitted, the selection process includes a review of application materials, an oral interview and a thorough background investigation. Applicants who are selected for an oral interview will be contacted in February and interviews will be scheduled in March.

Candidates who pass the oral interview and are selected as an intern candidate will be moved on to the background process.


A complete and thorough background is conducted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Background investigations can take three - six months to complete and will be conducted on applicants who have successfully interviewed for the internship and wish to pursue placement.
This background is a full law enforcement background check and includes questions regarding drug use, financial history, employment history and arrest record. The background investigation includes a 20 - 30-minute pre-screen interview. The pre-screen interview for out-of-state applicants can be conducted by phone. An additional three-hour in-person interview and Livescan fingerprinting are also required. After passing the background, candidates must submit to a polygraph test.

The following documents will be completed by qualified applicants during the background investigation:

  • Civilian Personal History form
  • Notarized Authorization to Release Information form

As part of the background investigation, applicants will be required to provide five references along with original copies of the following documents (Do NOT attach these documents to your application):

  • Birth certificate (original or certified copy) or if applicable, naturalization certificate/resident card (Passport is not accepted.)
  • Valid, state-issued driver's license or ID
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of current automobile liability insurance coverage, listing applicant as an insured driver
  • Official college transcript(s) (Required for applicants who have completed their degree(s) and must be submitted in a sealed/unopened envelope.)