Certified Latent Fingerprint Examination Jobs

Subject: Law
Pages: 4
Words: 839
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


According to Barnes (pp. 2-3), the use of fingerprints is one of the most dependable ways of identifying different individuals who possess unique fingerprint patterns. Historically, dating experiments show that builders of the Egyptian pyramids were the first to trace the first human fingerprints more than 4,000 years ago. The use of fingerprints was also a common practice among Chinese traders in the 3rd century B.C while carrying out transactions. In a bid to conduct fingerprint identification, streams of processes are run to ensure that results are correct and free from bias.

This involves the process of matching questioned fingerprints with some known fingerprints with an aim of authenticating the identity of the questioned fingerprints. Fingerprint identification (latent print identification) is of great significance in solving most crime cases as it provides one of the most dependable methods of providing the identity of those involved in certain criminal activities. Experts who carry out the tests dust surfaces to locate fingerprints thereafter collect tangible evidence used to identify the crime perpetrator.

This is done by a fingerprint examiner who runs tests to cross-match the collected fingerprints hence providing evidence in criminal cases (Prabhakar, Jain, Maio, & Maltoni, 2009, pp. 7-43). The fingerprint identification method came into being after the failure of the Leavenworth, Kansas identification. Prior to this, individuals used fingerprints for legal requirements that mostly involved documents.

Requirements and Certifications for Fingerprint Examiners

The International Association for Criminal Identification (IACI), which is a body that examines the accreditations of examiners, saw its formation in 1915 through the coordination of Harry Caldwell. The accreditation body got a change of name in 1918 with the adoption of its first charter hence acquiring its current name the International Association for Identification (IAI). By 1977, many developments saw the adoption of an accreditation program called the “Latent Print Certification Program”.

Since then IAI has developed other certification programs include Bloodstain pattern analysis, Footwear and Tire track analysis, Forensic Photography, forensic art, and tenprint certification. More developments came in with the development of the computerized Criminal Fingerprint File of 1980, by the Federal Bureau Department and later on the development of the National Crime Information center in 1983 (Skopitz, 2002, pp.1).

Depending on the location and country of origin, the educational specification and qualification of a latent fingerprint examination vary the United States, examiners have to receive the required accreditation from the International Association of Identification (IAI); the primary provider of standards recognized globally. To achieve this, one must have a prior educational background in the required field with a specialization of subjects such as Chemistry, biology, and forensic sciences.

This follows vetting which is through a latent finger examination course offered by the police department and crime technical laboratories. On completion, the individuals must go through an IAI three-part Latent Finger Print assessment. In addition to this training, after a time span of five years every certified fingerprint examiner must pass an exam, offered by IAI. If the candidate fails to achieve the expected mark, he/she is suspended and the license confiscated (International Association for Identification p.1).

Jobs that can be obtained as a Certified Latent Print Examiner

As a Certified Latent Print Examiner, one has the advantage to work in various departments in a firm dealing with investigations. In this regard, a print examiner can work as a Forensic Science Technician, an explosive chemical technician, a fingerprint specialist, a firearm and tool mark examiner, and also as an explosives chemical analyst just to mention a few. These jobs colligate with an aim of uncovering evidence about a certain procedure involved with criminal investigations.

Importance of Latent Print Certification

Due to the expertise involved in the Latent Print Examination, there is a need for attaining the required certification to be in line with what the requirements expected. This means that a fingerprint examiner must be well qualified as he/she has expectations of dealing with the heavy workloads before him/her. This aspect places the need to have certified Latent Fingerprint Examiners who are familiar with their job descriptions within the various investigation departments.

Professional Organizations for Latent Fingerprint Examiners

In the modern times, many organizations are in dire need of latent fingerprint examiners. These organizations include the police departments, airports, NASA, banks and

in explosives industries. This requires that professionals be hired to deal with the numerous counts of criminal activities reported and thus have a link to the mentioned departments. In this respect, the departments have various sub-departments where other figures involved with investigative procedures carry out their investigations as latent print examination entails numerous investigative options.

In banks for example, the use of door locks that detect fingerprints is a common phenomena in today’s world. This requires the availability of a Latent Print Examiner technician who has the responsibility of fixing problems involved with the locks. This criterion is advantageous as it is almost impossible for unauthorized persons to gain access to restricted areas within such organizations as banks. Through this, the safety of personnel and valuable resources is a guarantee.


Barnes, J. G. (n.d). History. Web.

International Association of Identification. Training, certification, and disciplines. IAI. Web.

Prabhakar, S., Jain, A. K., Maio, D., Maltoni, D. (2009). Handbook of fingerprint recognition. New York: Springer Publishing. Web.

Scopitz, K. (2002). History of fingerprints. Essortment. Web.