What it Takes to Become a Crime Scene Cleanup Professional

Crime scenes are everywhere. America saw more than 16,400 murders in 2019. Each murder produced its own mess, which had to be contained and cleaned. 

Cleaning jobs for crime scenes are essential to keeping people safe. But many people don’t know what goes into it. 

What may a cleanup crew have to do? What requirements do you need to meet in order to become a cleanup professional? How do you start your career, and how do you cope with the stress? 

Answer these questions and you can decide if becoming a crime scene cleanup professional is right for you. Here is your quick guide. 

What Cleaning Jobs Are Like

When people think of a crime scene cleanup, they think of a place where a murder happened. It is true that bioremediation specialists and other cleanup professionals manage murder scenes. 

But a crime scene cleanup can involve other tasks. Professionals may need to clean the site of a meth lab or another place where drugs were made. They may need to clean up storage sites for toxic and dangerous chemicals. 

There may be other substances at a scene besides body fluids. Police officers may leave caution tape, powder, and other objects behind. The cleanup crew must remove these objects before a scene is secure. 

An assault may spread blood or bodily tissue across a scene. There is less to clean up than at a murder scene, but there are still biohazards to consider. A building may have fire damage, spreading materials like asbestos into the air. 

One cleanup may take hours. If a body has been left unattended for a long period of time, blood or fluid may have leaked into the floor or walls. This means that those materials have to be removed and replaced for the house to be in liveable condition. 

It may be physically and emotionally difficult to clean up a crime scene. But the job is rewarding.

Cleanup crews comfort families who lost loved ones and leave homes clean. You can travel to different parts of the state or country depending on your particular job position. 

Requirements for the Job

Every company has its own requirements for its cleanup jobs. In general, you do not need an advanced degree to make a career change. You should have a high school diploma and then submit to training. 

But it is a good idea to have a degree in something related to crime scene cleanups. A medical degree is helpful because you know how to behave around bloodborne pathogens

You should have some experience as well, particularly in emergency medicine or forensics. You should know how to use tools to clean a scene and transport dangerous substances. You should be able to move heavy objects and perform long hours of manual labor. 

The majority of cleanup companies check the criminal backgrounds of applicants. You may need to submit to drug and alcohol testing as well. 

Starting Your Career 

If you receive a job offer, your career will begin with training. You will learn how to use equipment and abide by company guidelines. You may clean up mock crime scenes that have pig blood or dead animals in them. 

You will never respond to a crime scene by yourself. Someone with as much or more experience than you will be with you. 

The first step of any cleanup is to fence off the area. This is something that you can perform early on with minimal hassle. You may need to set up a containment partition like a tent to keep the public from seeing the scene. 

Your team will then begin the cleanup itself. You will start by removing obvious debris like police equipment. Then you will help disinfect the scene and remove all contaminants. 

If you are not accustomed to crime scenes, the learning curve may be steep. But your company is there to help you out and overcome your initial obstacles. 

Your supervisor will take care of talking to the family. As you gain more experience, you can start to talk to the family and comfort them. 


Responding to any crime scene is a difficult experience. The difficulty becomes pronounced when children or grieving family members are involved. 

While you are working, you can find ways of coping with the difficulty. Many crews talk to each other while they work. They may turn on a radio and listen to music so they have something else to focus on. 

A few companies provide paid counseling for their employees whenever they need help. You do not have to go to counseling if you don’t want to. But you can make a request and speak to someone about how you are doing. 

You do not have to talk to the family if you don’t want to. But it can be helpful for their coping process if you answer questions about crime scene cleanup companies. Be brief with your answers and be willing to take follow-up inquiries. 

Cleanup crews do not talk to the media. You may notice television cameras or news vans, but you should do your best to ignore them. Personal protective equipment conceals your face, so you will not get identified on the news. 

What You Should Know About Cleaning Jobs

Cleaning jobs clear the way for the loved ones of crime victims. You will work in a team with other experienced professionals to clean an area, which can have chemicals or biotoxins.  

You don’t need a degree, but it is a good idea to have one. You will start with training, then move into tasks like containing a scene. 

Dealing with the decomposition process is difficult. But mental resources are available, and many cleanup professionals find that helping families helps them. 

Touch base with a Wisconsin cleanup company. ZBM Inc. serves Dodge and Jefferson counties. Contact us today. 

Share this post

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top