Graphology is the study of handwriting. Graphologists believe that you can learn a lot about a person, simply by studying their handwriting. The way a person writes can tell you about their personality. It can also provide clues into a crime, such as matching up various handwriting samples.
Graphologists use the handwriting samples to build a personal profile. This can help in criminal investigations. There are a few schools which offer certificates in graphology within the United States.
Why Become A Graphologist
Forensic scientists have a wide range of duties. They work with law enforcement professionals and local and state law jurisdictions.
At a crime scene, forensic scientists analyze the crime scene to collect evidence. They take photographs of everything they see. They make sketches of the crime scene. They record observations such as where evidence is located. They gather evidence, including finger prints, bodily fluids, blood splatters, weapons, sketches, and more, and take it back to the laboratory for sampling.
Back at the lab, they use specialized technology to perform chemical analysis on the evidence they collected. They use the results to determine criminal activity, motives, and come to conclusions about what may have happened at a crime scene. They consult with law enforcement, detectives and others about their findings.
This is a great career field for those who enjoy biology and chemistry, want to help in law enforcement and detective work, want to put their science skills to applied work in a laboratory rather than theoretical approaches, and enjoy problem solving.
Forensic Scientists should possess the following qualities and skills:
Pays attention to detail
Enjoys solving complex problems
Graphologist Work Environment
Graphologists mainly work in an office environment. They require handwriting samples, which may be sent to them from local law enforcement agencies, police, or detective agencies. Many graphologists are self-employed. It is not a requirement to see clients in person. However, they may meet with law enforcement officials to go over their findings from the handwriting samples they were given.
Because they are often self-employed, many graphologists are able to set their own hours of work as well as pay rates. Some are privately employed by police agencies or by large companies. This job involves working independently.
The median annual salary for graphologists was $57,850 in 2017, according to the United States Bureau for Labor Statistics. Graphologists are a type of forensic technician, as categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As with many professions, salary varies considerably, depending on a number of factors. For example, salary can vary depending on what industry a person decides to get a job offer in. Those graphologists that work for state or local governments can earn a median income of $60,000 each year. On the other hand, those who work for medical and diagnostic laboratories earned $40,000 in 2017.
Those with additional experience and education should be expected to earn more money than their peers.
Graphologist Career Outlook
Employment for graphologists is expected to increase 17 percent in between 2016 and 2026. This is a much faster rate of growth than other professions within the United States. However, the industry for graphologists is quite small, and this 17 percent increase actually resembles only about 3,000 additional jobs over a 10 year period.
State and local governments are expected to hire graphologists as part of processing their case loads. They will be needed to take on criminal cases and produce evidence in trials. Graphologists use their knowledge and technical skills that can help win trials. Graphologists are able to provide tremendous value within the criminal justice system. They provide this information to law enforcement agencies and court systems.
It is not required to have a degree in order to become a graphologist. However, many places offer certificates in graphology or handwriting analysis. In these courses, students will learn the basics of handwriting analysis. They will take classes in psychology, analysis and more. They will learn more in-depth methods of analysis as their courses continue.
Upon completion, they will be certified in graphology. This is a great certification to have if you are serious about being employed by law enforcement, police agencies and detective agencies. A certification such as this will help make you stand out from the crowd.
During these programs you will take lecture courses in science as well as have laboratory classes. It takes four years to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Many forensic scientists decided to pursue a master’s degree in forensic science. These programs further prepare you for work in this field. Forensic science programs included advanced knowledge in this field, coursework, as well as working in the field on a crime scene. They may include specializing in a certain aspect of the field such as DNA, toxicology, and more.
Here are some of the courses you will take within a graphology or handwriting analysis program.
Basics of Graphology: In this course, students will learn the basics of graphology. They will learn about the anatomy of handwriting; margins and spacing and what it reveals; connected and disconnected letters; slant of handwriting; pressure; shapes of letters; print versus cursive styles of writing; and more.
Intermediate Graphology: In this course, students learn about the individual letters and what they represent. For example, students analyze the letter “g” and its connection to human sexuality; the letter “m” and its importance in interpersonal relationships; the letter “s” and its effect on a person’s open mindedness. Students also examine how a person crosses their “t”s and dots their “i”s, and what this symbolizes.
Advanced Graphology: Students take all of the knowledge they have gathered so far to put it together into advanced knowledge. Students learn how to analyze handwriting in order to provide signature analysis. They learn how to discover the overall personality of a person through handwriting.
Graphologist Career Path
While we all start out with a certain career in mind, there comes a point where we want to advance in our careers. There are many things that graphologists can do, whether it is farther in the law enforcement, detective, or other fields. More information about advancement opportunities are listed below.
Forensic Document Specialist
A forensic document specialist is similar to a graphologist, but they analyze documents specifically for criminal cases.
Forensic document specialists analyze documents such as ransom notes, letters left behind at a crime scene, and other documents. They analyze handwriting to find the personality of somebody who wrote the letter, to examine for forgery or fraudulent writing, to see if two pieces of handwriting are from the same person, and more.
A person should have taken a graphology or handwriting analysis course, plus have several years of experience.
This position allows you to work beside police forces and detectives, helping to solve criminal cases.
Related Graphologist Careers
A graphologist is one of many great career paths. If you are thinking about becoming a graphologist, there are other careers you may be interested in as well. Below, we list some related careers for you to consider.
Detective: Detectives gather facts and collect evidence, working on teams and helping to solve criminal cases.
Medical Laboratory Scientist: These professionals work in medical laboratories, collecting samples from clinics and doctors offices, and performing tests, analyzing the samples of body fluids and tissue according to what tests the physicians have ordered.
Biological Technician: A biological technician helps medical laboratory scientists conduct their laboratory tests and other experiments.