How to Become a Crime Scene Cleaner

  • Mulki Sulaeman
  • Mar 20, 2023
How to Become a Crime Scene Cleaner

What is a Crime Scene Cleaner?

A crime scene cleaner is an individual who is primarily responsible for cleaning up crime scenes after a traumatic event has occurred. Traumatic events can range from deaths, accidents and suicides to violent crimes such as homicides and assaults. The responsibility of a crime scene cleaner is to sanitize the area, remove any traces of blood, bodily fluids, and other materials that may pose a health hazard. Crime scene cleaners are often referred to as forensic cleaners or biohazard remediation specialists.

Being a crime scene cleaner is not for everyone, as it requires a certain level of physical and mental strength. Crime scene cleaners must be able to work long hours, sometimes in high-pressure situations, and be emotionally detached from the trauma they’re cleaning up. It is a demanding yet fulfilling job that requires a lot of attention to detail, empathy, and professionalism.

Education and Training Requirements:

Generally, you don’t require any specific degree or diploma to become a crime scene cleaner. However, a high school diploma is necessary, at the minimum. Besides, most crime scene cleaning companies need a certain level of experience in related fields like medical or biohazard cleaning jobs.

On top of that, aspiring crime scene cleaners need to undergo specialized training to equip them with the necessary skills required for the job. The training program for crime scene cleaning usually covers blood-borne pathogens, crime scene cleanup procedures, handling hazardous materials, disinfection, and decontamination techniques.

Skills Required:

Apart from the education and training requirement, there are some essential skills crime scene cleaners need to have. These include attention to detail – the smallest mistake could create hazards and recovery of evidence impossible; physical fitness – usually without any mechanical aids, crime scenes require a lot of physical activity; possess excellent communication, empathy, and people skills; and constant training to keep up with industry best practices and guidelines.

In addition, Crime scene cleaners are usually sensitive to the distressing situations they face and have a compassionate approach towards the customers they work with. Anyone interested in pursuing a career in crime scene cleaning must have a deep sense of professionalism and be comfortable in dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event.

Certification and Licensing Requirements:

Certification is often an entry-level requirement to becoming a crime scene cleaner. There are several professional associations and organizations that provide training and certification programs for aspiring crime scene cleaners. On completion of training and certification, the individual earns a certification which serves as evidence that he/she has adequate qualifications and knowledge required for the job.

Apart from certification, aspiring crime scene cleaners must abide by state and federal laws regarding the handling and disposal of biohazardous material. Depending on the jurisdiction, crime scene cleaners may need to obtain licenses and permits to operate and dispose of medical waste and other hazardous materials safely.

Career Advancement:

There are several opportunities for career advancement as a crime scene cleaner. Once an individual has gained sufficient experience, they may choose to advance to a supervisory or management role or venture out into related fields such as biohazard waste management, environmental cleaning, and disaster recovery.

Another career advancement option is to become a specialist in a particular type of trauma or crime scene. For instance, crime scene cleaners specializing in hazardous waste removal or working with medical examiners may earn more money and work with a diverse client base.


In conclusion, becoming a crime scene cleaner is a challenging yet rewarding career path. Crime scene cleaning requires individuals to have a particular skill set and be compassionate and professional when dealing with customers going through a difficult time. The educational requirements for this career are minimal, but you must undergo specialized training and certification programs to attain the knowledge and skills needed for the job, as well as adhere to state and federal laws and regulations regarding hazardous materials. With enough experience, one can advance to management and supervisory roles, or even carve out a niche in a particular type of trauma or crime scene.

Requirements for Becoming a Crime Scene Cleaner

Do you have a desire to help restore order and provide comfort to individuals and families during difficult times? Do you enjoy cleaning and have a strong stomach? Then becoming a crime scene cleaner might be the profession for you! However, before embarking on this career path, there are some requirements that you must meet.

Obtaining a High School Diploma or GED

One of the basic requirements for becoming a crime scene cleaner is to possess a high school diploma or equivalent. This is because a high school diploma or GED shows that you have completed a basic level of education and possess basic literacy and numeracy skills. This may also help you to quickly progress through training programs and obtain certification.

Completing a Training Program

Once you have earned a high school diploma, the next step to becoming a crime scene cleaner is to acquire the necessary training. Crime scene cleaning involves various forms of biohazard cleanup, including blood, bodily fluids, and tissue removal. As such, you need proper training on the safe handling and disposal of these materials. Training programs like the ones offered by the National Institute of Decontamination Specialists (NIDS) provide in-depth training on the proper cleaning and biohazard waste disposal protocol.

The NIDS courses cover various topics like PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) training, cleaning protocol, disease transmission, and safety protocol. The training can take several months and may consist of both classroom instructions and practical fieldwork.

Obtaining Certification

To become a certified crime scene cleaner, it is critical to obtain certification. The certification process usually involves passing an exam that gauges your knowledge of appropriate hygiene and regulation standards, as well as safety protocols for cleaning contaminated environments. Certification recognizes you as a professional in the field and can be a criterion for hiring.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is one of the certification bodies that you can register with. OSHA training usually involves classroom instructions that teach you how to tag contaminated sites, the proper use of equipment, and how to appropriately document cleanups. Besides, the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA) offers one of the most comprehensive certification programs in the industry.


Becoming a crime scene cleaner requires a strong stomach and willingness to help individuals in their darkest hours. However, before embarking on this career path, it is essential to meet the necessary requirements, including acquiring a high school diploma or equivalent, undergoing training and getting certified. By doing this, you’ll be well on your way to a lucrative career in crime scene cleaning.

Training Programs for Crime Scene Cleaners

Becoming a crime scene cleaner is not an easy task. Apart from possessing the necessary skills and qualifications, you must also complete a proper training program. Training programs for crime scene cleaners are essential to help them learn the skills and knowledge necessary to handle crime scene cleanup tasks effectively. In this article, we will discuss training programs that are available for aspiring crime scene cleaners.

Several institutions offer training programs for crime scene cleaners, including vocational schools, community colleges, and specialized training centers. Most of these institutions offer comprehensive training programs designed to equip students with the necessary skills to handle various crime scene cleanup tasks.

The length of time it takes to complete a training program can depend on the institution and its curriculum. While some institutions offer short-term courses that can be completed within a few days, others offer more in-depth programs that take several months to complete.

Classroom Training

Classroom training is the first part of most training programs and is designed to provide students with an overview of crime scene cleanup. During this phase of the training, students learn the science behind bloodborne pathogens, biohazards, and forensic cleaning processes, among other topics. Classroom training is critical as it helps students understand the dangers associated with different crime scene cleanup tasks and the best way to approach them.

Most classroom training programs are offered in lecture-style classes and are conducted by experienced instructors who have extensive knowledge of crime scene cleanup. Students are usually provided with textbooks, training manuals, and other learning materials to help them understand the concepts taught in class.

Hands-On Training

Hands-on training is the second part of most training programs and is designed to provide students with practical experience in crime scene cleanup. During this phase of the training, students work on simulated crime scenes and get a chance to apply the skills and knowledge they gained during the classroom training.

Hands-on training is critical as it helps students prepare for the challenges they may face while working on real crime scenes. Students also learn how to use the specialized equipment and chemicals used in crime scene cleanup and how to properly dispose of biohazard materials.


Once students complete their training program, they can apply for certification. Certification is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended as it demonstrates that a crime scene cleaner has received the necessary training to handle various cleanup tasks. There are several organizations that offer certification programs for crime scene cleaners, including the American Bio Recovery Association (ABRA) and the National Institute of Decontamination Specialists (NIDS).

In conclusion, becoming a crime scene cleaner requires specialized training to handle the challenging tasks involved in crime scene cleanup. Classroom training, hands-on training, and certification are all critical components of any training program for aspiring crime scene cleaners. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a crime scene cleaner, make sure to do proper research and choose a training program that suits your needs.

Skills Needed to be a Crime Scene Cleaner

Being a crime scene cleaner is a challenging job that requires specific skills and qualities. These professionals are responsible for cleaning up the aftermath of crime scenes, including homicides, accidents, and suicides. To become a crime scene cleaner, you need to have the right set of skills and personal qualities. Here are some of the essential skills that you need to have as a crime scene cleaner:

1. Attention to Detail

The first and most important skill that you need to have as a crime scene cleaner is attention to detail. You must be able to identify even the smallest traces of biological material, such as bloodstains, bodily fluids, and tissue fragments. Cleaning up a crime scene requires thoroughness and meticulousness. You must be able to clean every surface, nook, and cranny of the crime scene to ensure that nothing is left behind. Attention to detail is essential in this process because missing even a small amount of biological material can be hazardous to health and wellbeing.

2. Physical Stamina

Another crucial skill that you need to have as a crime scene cleaner is physical stamina. This job involves a lot of physical labor, such as carrying heavy equipment, lifting and moving furniture, and cleaning up debris. You will also be required to wear protective gear, such as gloves, masks, and goggles, which can be hot and uncomfortable. Therefore, you must have the physical stamina to perform these tasks without getting tired or injured.

3. Emotional Resilience

Crime scene cleaning is not for the faint-hearted. You will be dealing with extremely stressful and traumatic situations every day. You must have emotional resilience and the ability to stay calm and composed during these situations. Crime scene cleaners must have the psychological strength to work in environments that are often gruesome and unsettling. You must be able to cope with the emotional trauma associated with the job, and be able to separate your emotions from the task at hand to do the job effectively.

4. Ability to Work Independently

As a crime scene cleaner, you will often work independently without supervision. You must have the ability to work alone and make sound decisions in this context. Crime scene cleaning involves making split-second decisions and improvising in situations where the equipment or tools may not be easily accessible. Therefore, you must be self-disciplined, responsible, and able to make decisions confidently without relying on external help.

In conclusion, becoming a crime scene cleaner requires having the right set of skills and qualities. You must be attentive to detail, physically fit, emotionally resilient, and able to work independently. These skills will help you succeed in this demanding but rewarding profession.

Salary and Job Outlook for Crime Scene Cleaners

Crime scene cleaning is a unique and challenging profession that requires specialized skills and training. Crime scene cleaners are responsible for cleaning up and disposing of biological and hazardous materials at crime scenes. The job involves working with law enforcement officials and families who have been impacted by tragedies, such as homicides, suicides, and accidents. If you are interested in becoming a crime scene cleaner, it’s important to understand the salary and job outlook for this profession.

The average salary for a crime scene cleaner is around $50,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, this figure can vary depending on a range of factors, such as experience, location, and the size of the employer. Some crime scene cleaning companies may offer hourly pay, while others may offer a salary plus benefits. Additionally, some cleaners may earn more by expanding their services to include cleaning up other hazardous materials.

Although the job can be demanding and emotionally challenging, it can be rewarding in terms of salary and job security. The BLS projects that employment for crime scene cleaners will grow by 16% over the next decade. This growth is due to several factors, including an increase in violent crimes, as well as the aging of the baby boomer generation, which may result in an increase in deaths from natural causes.

In addition to traditional crimes, mishaps such as suicides can be common reasons for the need of crime scene cleaners. Cleaning up the scene after the police and emergency responders have departed can be a bit daunting for some individuals and a tough way to remember the dead. This demand for special services will continue to grow the industry and make for a steady job outlook for individuals embarking on this career.

Overall, becoming a crime scene cleaner can offer financial stability and job security, as well as the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of others. It’s crucial to obtain the proper training, certification, and experience to succeed in this field. Some may also further their education into becoming a local or state officer as those who provide these services usually must meet specific state and federal requirements. While the profession can be challenging, it can also be deeply rewarding.

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