Road traffic accident investigators carry out examinations to work out why an accident happened.
Salary range: £18,000 to £40,000
How to become a road traffic accident investigator
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
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.
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
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
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.
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.
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.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join The Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators, for professional recognition and training opportunities.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- 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
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
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
You could work on the road or in an office.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could move into management or work on a freelance or consultancy basis.