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The rates of pay

Discussion of computer forensics employment and career issues.
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Re: The rates of pay

Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:58 am

Once again, excellent replies and discussion. Even with variety and diversity of opinions expressed I haven't actually notice anyone say directly "I don't think anyone should earn more than a specific amount".

I was looking around to see whether there is a national minimum wage (NMW) in other countries and see that Australia has in place an NMW system

www.fairwork.gov.au/pa...fault.aspx

Haven't found yet whether Aus impose through a Statutory Instrument the amount to be paid to those involved with evidence and court proceedings?
_________________
Institute for Digital Forensics (IDF) - www.linkedin.com/groups/2436720
Mobile Telephone Examination Board (MTEB) - www.linkedin.com/groups/141739
Universal Network Investigations - www.linkedin.com/groups/13536130
Mobile Telephone Evidence & Forensics trewmte.blogspot.com 

trewmte
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: The rates of pay

Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:56 am

An (indirect) confirmation of an "entry level" wage:
www.forensicfocus.com/...ic/t=9824/

COMPUTER FORENSIC ANALYST £24000-£30000, LONDON


jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: The rates of pay

Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:15 pm

- trewmte

Haven't found yet whether Aus impose through a Statutory Instrument the amount to be paid to those involved with evidence and court proceedings?


I should know the answer to this as I come from Aus and that is where I started my CF career, however I only worked for LE and Government there so never did defence or worked on a Legal Aid case. In fact when I left Aus in 2007 there was still scant defence forensics happening, I certainly never met or came up against a defence expert. I've no doubt that has changed now though.

What I do know is that Legal Aid is administered separately in each state (as is the judicial/court system up until the High or Federal courts) so it is most likely a different story for each one. A quick search around the site for Queensland: www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/ has not provided me with any further information I'm afraid.

I have enjoyed reading this debate as I feel I'm now somewhat in the mid-point of my forensics career (7 years) no longer a junior but not quite ready to be resigned to the rank of 'Manager'. So in a way I feel like It's a kind of no-mans land in the middle. I have spent time in the private sector, where I was paid less than in public sector roles. But overall in my experience I have found that you have to be patient and wait around for opportunities to progress your career although these opportunities may not always improve your pay.

I have to say though, the starting "entry level" wage that Jaclaz quoted above, even the higher end of it, is at today's exchange rate less that what I earned in my first "entry level" LE forensics job in Aus back in 2005!! Not to mention that I still now earn less (at today's exchange rate) than I did when I left Aus 5 years ago despite having another 5 years experience under my belt, completing countless training courses as well as graduating from my Masters degree in the meantime.

I don't want to sound bitter about it, because I'm not really, I do what I do because I enjoy it and find it an interesting career that continues to challenge me and at the end of the day I have a roof over my head and food on my table so there are no complaints!

However, I do feel for today's students who are studing CF at university, I think maybe the market has just been flooded with too many juniors that employers can get away with paying them less.
_________________
_________________________________________
The only people who find what they are looking for
in life are the fault finders. 

kiashi
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: The rates of pay

Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:09 pm

For an Australian example, take this one from Queensland where I started my career in CF (and worked with Kiashi for a while).

www.police.qld.gov.au/...20Fees.pdf

You'll note that these are intended to compensate a person compelled to testify for loss of income. Professional witnesses are paid by them employer, or by whoever retains their services.

I'm happy to say that my pay has increased considerably from when I worked in law enforcement, but then I have had a few twists and turns and considerable effort to develop complementary skills that are more desirable in the civil sector where the pay is higher. (Plus my current position is as a lead.) I look at the job adverts for the UK and feel that you're woefully underpaid.
_________________
Tony Patrick, B. Inf Tech, CFCE
www.patrickcomputerfor...s.com/blog
www.twitter.com/Patrick4n6 

Patrick4n6
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: The rates of pay

Post Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:20 pm

- kiashi

I have enjoyed reading this debate as I feel I'm now somewhat in the mid-point of my forensics career (7 years) no longer a junior but not quite ready to be resigned to the rank of 'Manager'. So in a way I feel like It's a kind of no-mans land in the middle. I have spent time in the private sector, where I was paid less than in public sector roles. But overall in my experience I have found that you have to be patient and wait around for opportunities to progress your career although these opportunities may not always improve your pay.

I have to say though, the starting "entry level" wage that Jaclaz quoted above, even the higher end of it, is at today's exchange rate less that what I earned in my first "entry level" LE forensics job in Aus back in 2005!! Not to mention that I still now earn less (at today's exchange rate) than I did when I left Aus 5 years ago despite having another 5 years experience under my belt, completing countless training courses as well as graduating from my Masters degree in the meantime.


You can IMHO choose betwen two possible reasons:
  1. there are too many forensic experts (or presumed such) in the low to middle experience range and that, due to market laws of demand/offer, has effectively lowered the initial part of the raising XY curve X=years of experience Y=wage
  2. you were overpaid Shocked when down under a few years back (ʇou ʇɐɥʍ puɐ uʍop ǝpısdn buıpɐǝɹ ɹoɟ ǝɔuɐʍoןןɐ ɐɹʇxǝ) Wink

We have supposedly another fresh "center point" (to better the plotting of the said hypothetical XY graph):
www.forensicfocus.com/...ic/t=9826/

Right now we have 4 (very approximated) coordinate points:
X=0~2? Y=24000~30000

X=7~10? Y=50000~60000
X=15~20? Y=88000~112000
X=25 Y=135000

jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: The rates of pay

Post Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:14 am

I've only very recently left the Police (15 months) in Western Australia, and I can say that even now there are only a few people doing criminal defence work in Perth.

While I don't want to comment about them specifically one of them is a University lecturer and self proclaimed "cyber forensics expert" and the other is an IT consultant with next to no experience in forensics work.

One of these guys conducted a VM examination of an accused computer, when compiling his report he detailed the hardware of the computer (cpu, memory, hard drives etc) looked great, only problem was that he never saw the hardware, he was detailing his own host computers hardware specs. This was after about 10 phone calls from him to me for me to teach him how to get the image working in VMware. This was followed up by many more phone calls from him to me for me to teach him how to use Xways. The other guy when he goes to court gets very flustered and refuses to be acknowledges a an expert as he says he's not.

You can draw your own conclusions from that, suffice to say that when ever I offered to stay in the court to support the prosecuting lawyers during the opposing "expert testimony" for some reason they never took the stand Wink

These guys aside, the real reason in WA no one is doing good defence work is the costs. As you all know it can take many hours to conduct a proper analysis and for a defence expert to actually do a credible thorough job it would cost tens of thousands of dollars and your average criminal isn't going to have that kind of money lying around. Secondly the only qualified people in WA all work for either the Police or large professional service firms, and as a rule these firms don't associate themselves with criminals, bad for image.  

Adam10541
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: The rates of pay

Post Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:11 am

[quote="jaclaz"
[*]you were overpaid Shocked when down under a few years back (ʇou ʇɐɥʍ puɐ uʍop ǝpısdn buıpɐǝɹ ɹoɟ ǝɔuɐʍoןןɐ ɐɹʇxǝ) Wink
[/quote]

I can tell you right now that Cat was not overpaid in Oz. If you worked at our agency as a civvy, you'd make 20+k more to move to any of the Fed agencies with offices in the same city at the same level.
_________________
Tony Patrick, B. Inf Tech, CFCE
www.patrickcomputerfor...s.com/blog
www.twitter.com/Patrick4n6 

Patrick4n6
Senior Member
 
 

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