Become a Crime Scene Cleaner: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Crime scene cleaning is one of the few jobs that are as fascinating as they are stomach-churning. It can be extraordinarily humbling and rewarding work and you can make a fair bit of money too. And since there is (sadly) no shortage of work in the field, you’re pretty much guaranteed to kick-off your career in relatively little time. So forget about everything you’ve learned from watching CSI and Law and Order and find out how to become a crime scene cleaner in the real world.

1. Are you mentally ready?

Crime scene cleaning is obviously not for the faint-hearted. No one is really ever prepared to go and smell death while everybody else is still having breakfast, and you have to be psychologically ready to overcome gruesome working environments. You will be the second port of call once the coroner has done his job and you are expected to be able to handle any kind of situation, just about anywhere: flats, houses, but also trains, boats and cars. Investigations usually last about a week, but in some cases you can be called to intervene on a crime scene even a few years later and you will still be expected to deal with it impeccably.

  1. Get on a course

You’re not required to go through formal education for this line of work. However, it is strongly recommended to at least get on a course in order to learn everything there is to know about transmissible diseases and how to chemically eradicate them. A bit of bleach sprayed here and there is certainly not sufficient!

3. Precision

Precision is key. First you’ll have to take photos in order to clearly identify the area that needs to be cleaned along with any objects that may need to be tidied up, rearranged and organised. Potentially contaminated or harmful bodily fluids such as blood will need to be removed and quarantined into special bags.

Every room will then need to be disinfected, fumigated and hermetically locked. Most of the products you’ll need are similar to the ones used in hospitals – hence why going on a course beforehand and learning how to handle them should be necessary.

Depending on the gravity of the case, a mission usually lasts between two and six hours. You’ll need to pay strong attention to details: insects can prolifer rapidly if an area is left untreated.

  1. Counselling

Your work doesn’t end there though. Crime scene cleaning is actually a fairly new career path: in the past, it wasn’t uncommon for relatives or friends of the defunct to have to clean up after a suicide. Helping grieving families is essentially the second main aspect to the job. You will need to have a lot of empathy and be able to offer a bit of counselling on the go to families and survivors of such painful trauma.

5. Money matters

Given the relatively weak competition for what is still a rather unusual job, you’re likely to expect a six-figure salary just after a few years work – even more so if you are running your own business.


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One Response to Become a Crime Scene Cleaner: Step-by-Step Career Guide
  1. Charrise Mae S. Yap
    May 21, 2015 | 1:33 pm

    is the position still available?

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