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How much schooling is needed for a crime scene cleanup certification?

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Quick Answer

No formal schooling required to become a crime scene cleaner, but a Biorecovery Technician certification from the American Bio-Recovery Association is required. This certificate is achieved after attending biorecovery training courses and passing an exam.

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Full Answer

Training courses to gain Biorecovery Technician certification mainly covers bloodborne pathogen training approved by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Techniques for cleaning bodily fluids and removing unpleasant, lingering odors are taught. Students learn how to operate the equipment needed for crime scene cleanup, as well as ways to protect themselves from exposure to fluids. They are also taught how to work with law enforcement, from proper notification procedures to the correct way to proceed if the cleanup leads to the discovery of new evidence.

Additional certification is offered to those who seek it, but is not required. One of the more marketable areas is drug lab decontamination. Over two days of instruction, courses train students to prepare decontamination plans. Those seeking drug lab decontamination certification must familiarize themselves with federal and state requirements for hazardous material handling by completing OSHA's hazardous waste operations and emergency response standard courses.

Anyone interested in becoming a crime scene cleaner should look for employers that abide by OSHA standards and offer hepatitis B vaccinations and medical evaluation if exposure to fluids occurs. Since the job is riddled with stress and unpleasant imagery, those in the field should find some kind of support group or activity to help them cope with the job's demands.

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