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The rates of pay

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Jonathan
(@jonathan)
Posts: 878
Prominent Member
 

Being picky (as I actually am) I wouldn't however expect a reply on a public forum by someone that posts initially

Due to the high volume of applications received, if you do not hear from us within 7 working days, I am afraid your application has been unsuccessful.

as a "standard" formula in all his/their recruitment ads, particularly for one requiring "top skills" and definitely not before a few days have passed since the original ad.
I mean, if you ALREADY received so many applications, WHY are you asking here for more?
But that's most probably just me.

jaclaz

Oh, I agreee - the ad is appalling. Not only for the reason you've given above but the fact that the person who wrote it repeatedly uses the word 'consulate' for 'consultant'. Really amateurish. Makes me wonder if there are other mistakes of a material mature in there.

The end client will be paying the recruiting agency at least 20% fees to find them a suitable candidate. For £20,000.00+ I would expect a better service.

 
Posted : 15/10/2012 2:05 pm
manuld
(@manuld)
Posts: 15
Active Member
 

I can't imagine the public sector cost for forensics has gone down to a 1/3 or less of what they were paying four years ago.

No need to imagine it manuld - it's a fact.

Maybe I am confusing the matter here. Are we saying that is what an individual is paid or what the company gets paid for Police work? If it is an individual then that is low, but if it is a company then you might as well shut the doors. If I own a company and get £20 per hour to do anything then the max the employee could get paid would probably be ion the region of £6 per hour. Do we have people on minimium wage doing forensic examinations?

 
Posted : 15/10/2012 3:08 pm
Jonathan
(@jonathan)
Posts: 878
Prominent Member
 

I can't imagine the public sector cost for forensics has gone down to a 1/3 or less of what they were paying four years ago.

No need to imagine it manuld - it's a fact.

Maybe I am confusing the matter here. Are we saying that is what an individual is paid or what the company gets paid for Police work? If it is an individual then that is low, but if it is a company then you might as well shut the doors. If I own a company and get £20 per hour to do anything then the max the employee could get paid would probably be ion the region of £6 per hour. Do we have people on minimium wage doing forensic examinations?

Companies, and it's more like £35/ph.

 
Posted : 15/10/2012 3:39 pm
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Posts: 1877
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

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

http//www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/rates-of-pay/pages/default.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?

 
Posted : 18/10/2012 11:58 am
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Posts: 5135
Illustrious Member
 

An (indirect) confirmation of an "entry level" wage
http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=9824/

COMPUTER FORENSIC ANALYST £24000-£30000, LONDON

jaclaz

 
Posted : 18/10/2012 1:56 pm
kiashi
(@kiashi)
Posts: 99
Trusted Member
 

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 http//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.

 
Posted : 18/10/2012 8:15 pm
Patrick4n6
(@patrick4n6)
Posts: 650
Honorable Member
 

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

http//www.police.qld.gov.au/Resources/Internet/rti/financial/documents/QPS%20Schedule%20of%20Witness%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.

 
Posted : 19/10/2012 12:09 am
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Posts: 5135
Illustrious Member
 

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 😯 when down under a few years back (ʇou ʇɐɥʍ puɐ uʍop ǝpısdn buıpɐǝɹ ɹoɟ ǝɔuɐʍoןןɐ ɐɹʇxǝ) wink
  3. [/listo]

    We have supposedly another fresh "center point" (to better the plotting of the said hypothetical XY graph)
    http//www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/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

 
Posted : 19/10/2012 12:20 am
Adam10541
(@adam10541)
Posts: 550
Honorable Member
 

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 😉

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.

 
Posted : 19/10/2012 7:14 am
Patrick4n6
(@patrick4n6)
Posts: 650
Honorable Member
 

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

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.

 
Posted : 19/10/2012 10:11 am
trewmte
(@trewmte)
Posts: 1877
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

Appreciate all the replies, links and superb responses.

kiashi, very interesting, clear, apposite and constructive outlook on this matter.

patrick4n6, I read the .pdf document from your link (thanks). Why do public servants appear to be paid a higher travel allowance? My questions goes to the heart of the matter what travel arrangements (train/car/bike etc) do public servants use, that ordinary Aus witnesses do not, in order to be paid more?

 
Posted : 19/10/2012 11:27 am
kiashi
(@kiashi)
Posts: 99
Trusted Member
 

I think I moved to the wrong Northern Hemisphere country Tony, I should have gone stateside instead! Either that or I go back to Aus and join the rest of the others in Federal Government! Haha oh well. Good on you for making good for yourself over there! D

Jaclaz, (love the upside down writing wink ) as Tony said we were not paid above the odds in our LE jobs. My wage was at the basic university graduate level point for all public service workers within the entire State Government in Queensland. I would have been receiving the exact same wage if I'd stayed working for the Department of the Arts on the IT helpdesk where I had been previous to that.

I think a lot of it has to do with the economy of different countries, now I don't know the first thing about economics but even I can see the differences between the UK, US and Aus are quite vast. I think the general levels of salary in the UK are lower than in Aus, but then the cost of living is probably still that little bit lower in the UK (outside London certainly) and probably lower again in the US (on average).

Adam10541, That is interesting what you say about the gap that still exists for defence work at least in WA. I know the New South Wales Police outsourced their entire CF operation for a time some years ago, to I think it was KPMG but they brought it back in-house with a fancy new lab etc. etc. so I think there is also a lack of outsourced work in Aus which many of the smaller CF firms here in the UK rely on from the Police. Which is of course being squeezed and squeezed, particularly by Government austerity cuts as Jonathan mentioned before.

The corporate and civil litigation work definitely seems to be where the money is at but it still takes time to filter down to the front line analysts after it has lined the pockets of the directors, managers and salesmen etc.

trewmte, I can't see why public servants should get more travel allowance, they should just pay members of the public the same rate….strange! It's probably just a union thing, they would rather pay everyone less but the public sector union has fought for higher rates for public sector workers across the board, but they are not bound by those rules when paying other members of the public so they can just get away with paying them less.

 
Posted : 19/10/2012 8:30 pm
Patrick4n6
(@patrick4n6)
Posts: 650
Honorable Member
 

Why do public servants appear to be paid a higher travel allowance? My questions goes to the heart of the matter what travel arrangements (train/car/bike etc) do public servants use, that ordinary Aus witnesses do not, in order to be paid more?

It was a surprise to me also. It's possible that the unions negotiated a higher travel allowance as part of the package, but there have been one or two negotiation cycles since I was a public servant.

 
Posted : 19/10/2012 8:48 pm
jaclaz
(@jaclaz)
Posts: 5135
Illustrious Member
 

A NON-scoop, but possibly relevant for our US friends
http//www.computer-forensics-recruiter.com/salaries.html
http//www.computer-forensics-recruiter.com/salaries/computer_forensics_services_pay.html
Also state by state
http//www.computer-forensics-recruiter.com/salaries/computer_forensics_states_salaries.html
(and each state has a breakdown for the main locations).
The data is not properly referenced (for time/date) but it seems like coming by using the relevant job offers on "job sites".
I would take them with more than a pinch of salt, but they are better than nothing.

jaclaz

P.s.@kiashi, in case of need, the text was generated with this
http//textmechanic.com/Reverse-Text-Generator.html

I don't want to go OT oops , but your note

I think a lot of it has to do with the economy of different countries, now I don't know the first thing about economics but even I can see the differences between the UK, US and Aus are quite vast. I think the general levels of salary in the UK are lower than in Aus, but then the cost of living is probably still that little bit lower in the UK (outside London certainly) and probably lower again in the US (on average).

makes me wonder.
I stayed briefly in Brisbane (a loooong time ago) and at the time (talking of - please take a seat if you are standing) some 30 years ago and I had a feeling of a particularly "easy" and "low cost" place to live in, certainly cheaper than the UK (leaving London aside, that - I believe like New York, Milan and more generally "economic capitals") is not at all representative of the country when it comes to cost of living.

 
Posted : 20/10/2012 12:21 am
kiashi
(@kiashi)
Posts: 99
Trusted Member
 

Jaclaz, if only Brisbane was so cheap and easy to live in now, they used to call it "The big country town" but it is most definitely a city these days. The cost of living seems to have risen quite drammatically even since I left there five years ago. The other thing about Australia is that because the country so large but the population so small you are not going to find ANY computer forensics or other kinds of niche business or even large business (aside from mining) occuring outside of the capital cities in each state so that gives you a total of 8 locations you can find this work being done in the whole country! Here's a little population distribution map for you because I know you like figures wink , quite interesting
http//www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/by%20Subject/1301.0~2012~Main%20Features~Geographic%20distribution%20of%20the%20population~49

Anyway, I've deviated off topic now, my apologies.

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 3:55 pm
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