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Top 10 Forensic Cities for New Forensic Document Examiners

If you watch to TV crime shows and you might think only Washington DC, Las Vegas, Miami, and New York have fraud and criminal behavior.  Nope, every city with a courthouse will eventually encounter a need for an expert witnesses to take the stand and testify about forgeries, documents, alterations, ink testing, and signature forgeries.

But, the question is “Do I live in a city where you can earn $150,000 a year or more in this career?”


The first question you have to ask is how many people live within a 3 hour drive of your home?   That number will give you an idea of how many lawsuits are filed or pending… that might need your help.

The second question you need to ask is  “ Is there a shortage of forensic handwriting experts in my area?”

If the answer is “Yes”, then you are looking at a possible career change with lots of upside potential and minimum advertising after you are trained.

If you say “No”, then you will have to work a bit harder to outsmart your veteran competition who already have deep ties with local attorneys and big insurance companies who rely on these veterans to testify for them.

In the past year, I have spoken to dozens of educated,  smart, serious people who want to take up this profession and finally quit their job which they are exhausted from.

If you are going to invest $25,000- $70,000 in an education or buying a new business, it makes sense for you to understand the business landscape and choose the city with the most amount of lawsuits and the least amount of competition.

If you think you are going to get rich opening a Snow Cone Stand in Alaska, you are not thinking clearly.

We understand.  The whole point of distance learning
school is to train you in the skills to build a second career.

In fact, if you are in certain cities around the USA, or some other
countries, being a certified forensic document examiner is like
being the only water fountain in the desert…

… the business will come to you.

Over the past five years, every new case was worth about
$1000 /  in revenue to our graduates and associates.

Now, this is an average.  It seems obvious, but I’ll restate it.  The people who live and work in the locations with the most lawsuits… earn the most money.

Likewise, the cities like New York and Los Angeles seem to allow for higher pricing in both case totals and hourly rates.  So, the bigger the city, the more money is available to flow your way.   So yes. LA and NY are profitable, but they are highly competitive with wealthy advertisers already there.  Can you afford to play in the big leagues?

$1000 a case can add up quickly if you are in a city with very little competition.

In certain cities,  there are 4 or more people fighting for enough business for examiner… don’t go to those cites and start a new business.  Dallas Texas and Kansas City are two examples of too many examiners and too much competition.

Which city and state are you in?

Is there any competition?

Here is how you find out.

Go to Google.com and search for “forensic document examiner YOUR CITY” and

see how many competitors you have in your state.  

For example search “forensic document examiner
Salt Lake City”  and do your research. 

And, you can normally ignore the “sponsored listings” and look for actual  “organic listings” that have address and local phone number.

In fact, you  might be in a city which has a serious shortage of trained forensic document examiners.

That means every day, lawyers and people in your home town are sending their cases

to experts in other cities (often 2000 miles away) because there is no one local to help them.

So, if you not really reading between the lines, here is the point…

If you are serious about changing careers, getting trained as  Forensic
Handwriting Expert could be your best defense.


In my recent search, the following areas have the most
shortage and we are open to helping you open offices in the key cities

San Fransisco








San Diego


New Orleans

Austin, TX

Houston, TX

Where do you live?

Now, as with any distance-learning program, your own results will
vary on your own diligence, personality, and talent. 

However, if you take a tour of our school, we will explain how we can both educate you and help you open up an office in your city and help you become successful.

In fact, with the School of Forensic Document Examination’s marketing
and apprenticeship program, you can have customers calling you, and start earning revenue within the first year of school.

It is all explained here, in this online video, if you have not watched it recently.

Plus, you can call our office to actually discuss which geographical
markets are “totally open” and which cities already have lots of
competition.  We only take students in certain cities, so are in one of those cities?

So, are you interested?

This is the week to submit your application for the upcoming semester.

You can download, fill-out, and submit your application without spending a dime.

Then, once accepted, you can make the final decision to invest in your education.

How Much is a Forensic Document Examiner’s Salary?

Average Forensic Document Examiner Salary

What is the average salary for a forensic document examiner? See this chart.

If you are curious about what a full-time handwriting expert / forensic document examiner’s salary is, this chart will help you.  Based on our 15 years of research at the International School of Forensics, we have compiled a list of typical salaries and incomes based on region, state, country. Based on the average forensic document examiner’s salary.

If you’ve been searching for, “forensic document examiner salary” then you are probably curious about getting trained in this unique and high-paying career.

  • How you can train to become a forensic document examiner.
  • What exactly can you expect when you start your career.

Well, according to the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, the Median Salary for all forensic science technicians in the year 2018 was $58,230.  However, this is a larger number that does not properly reflect the fact that forensic document examiners are specially trained individuals who often earn $150,000 –  $300,000 per year in private practice. As always, government positions pay less than the private sector.  

Forensic document examiner and their average salary and income.

Who specifically earns $150,000 / year or more in document examination ?

A forensic document examiner uses specific knowledge and training to consult and testify in court to the truth and authenticity of a document. This includes forgeries, altered documents, signatures, and handwriting items such as wills, contracts, and agreements. Therefore, will need to be a certified forensic document examiner and have a solid business plan in place to succeed.

We, at forensicdocexamschool.com, the International School of Forensic Document Examination have trained students who have gone on to earn a stable and good living a year on a government salary position and many students who have earned in excess of $150,000 in private practice.   Rest assured that if you are thinking of a career in forensic sciences, then this is the best place to get trained to earn the right salary and revenue if you are willing to be self-employed and use paid advertising to find new clients.

Our faculty members and research staff  have always do our best to keep in touch with our graduates and working professionals to establish the average , “forensic document examiner salary”.

Court Appearance Fee: $1000-$2000 United states average.

Deposition Fees $300- $500 per hour for depositions

The average hourly rate in the United States $200 / hour – $650 / hour.

New York, NY, USA   $190,00 / year

Los Angeles, CA USA .   $180,000/ year

Dallas, TX USA     $170,000/ year

London   $180,00/  year (Pounds)

Mumbai India   $40,000 /year   (Paid in Rupees)

Istanbul, Turkey  $50,000/ year

Denver, Co   $100,000 / year

Chicago, IL, USA  $180,000 / year

6 Keys to Being An Effective Expert Witness


6 Keys to Being An Effective Expert Witness



D.C. Appeals Court Upholds Use of Handwriting Analysis as Legal Evidence

 D.C. Appeals Court Upholds Use of Handwriting Evidence

Handwriting analysis will continue to be admissible as scientific evidence in local courts, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled in an opinion (PDF) published this morning.



A handwritten note discovered at the crime scene played a major role in the trial of Robert Pettus, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2008. On appeal, Pettus argued that a 2009 report by the National Research Council of the National Academies cast new and serious doubts on the reliability of the forensic sciences, including handwriting analysis.


Senior Judge Michael Farrell, writing for the three-judge panel, acknowledged that Pettus and the D.C. Public Defender Service, which argued the case as an amicus party, made “a spirited attack” on the acceptance of pattern-matching analysis.

However, the court found that the report failed to detail specific problems with handwriting analysis – as opposed to the forensic sciences as a whole – and that the methodology behind handwriting analysis is “well-established and accepted in the forensic science community generally.”

Pettus’ attorney, solo practitioner Thomas Heslep, said this morning that he was still reviewing the opinion, but expected that he would petition for a rehearing before the whole court. A representative for the Public Defender Service did not immediately return a request for comment, and U.S. attorney office spokesman William Miller declined to comment.


Handwriting Expert Ethics & Responsibility

Handwriting Expert Ethics & Responsibility for Forensic Document Examiners

Special Contribution by the Faculty of the International School of Forensics

Ethics is the basic principle of Right Action, the Standard of Character (good moral character that is).

A forensic document examiner is expected at all times to be:  a non-advocate, non-bias, non-spurious, non-prejudice, impartial, skillful, informed, reputable, truthful, reliable, dedicated, publicized, thick-skinned, dynamic, qualified, an author, studious, competent, with integrity and wisdom, and of course ethical.

Operating in a judicial system that is dependent upon advocacy and a world full of wars and rumors of wars (that’s Biblical, huh), how do we reconcile the conflicts which confront us at our every move, every case, every relationship and the ever changing moral and ethical challenges?  Especially now that we have taken on a new role as an expert, we are expected, even more, required, to be better.  During the course of our expert QDE career, we will, indeed be in conflict with many of these ethical questions.  Who defines or demands such requirements of you and your ethics? (more…)

Quality Score tutorial

This video was designed for working document examiners who want more business and want to Advertise or improve the advertising effectiveness of their key word campaigns on sites such as google.com/adwords  and Bing. (more…)

How to Always Get Paid to Be An Expert Witness


            When I started teaching and training individuals about how to become handwriting  experts and document examiner experts I quickly realized that one could learn everything about analyzing, comparing, evaluating, peer reviewing, and testifying and still be a failure in the business of being an expert witness.

The most important issue after the education, training and experience is to get paid often and sufficiently enough to stay in business so you can help people who need you.  Any expert who has been around long enough to have enjoyed some success has encountered the same old story over and over:  “I will pay you later” or whatever the excuse may be.  Remember, excuses satisfy only those who give them.  Excuses do not pay our Google, Yellow Pages, postcard and advertising bills or feed our families.

I have even had clients ask me to front the plane fare and other expenses.  Can you believe I did it — at least twice??  Wow.  I sure have learned from my mistakes.  You can now learn from mine two.

Often times the result of the  case, whether a court case or a case of which employee gets fired for writing racial slurs on the bathroom wall, rests on our professional expert opinion testimony.  It should be obvious to anyone with good common sense and adequate vision that experts can help win or lose a case.  As a result of my expertise, I once helped a client get off death row.  He has written me many letters of appreciation with much gratitude and I know he knows how important an expert can be to a cause or a case.

My attitude is strengthened every day about how valuable an asset an expert can be.  In fact, I believe experts should get paid up front before their examination and always before any court testimony.  This subject is a passion for my beautiful friend, Expert Rosalie Hamilton, who consults and coaches experts worldwide.  In a recent letter from Expert Communication, Rosalie said “I feel that for experts, whose education and experience are significant enough to qualify them to assist the courts of our land in understanding the issues before them, to have to beg, cajole, renegotiate (bargain), institute collection procedures and even sue for their compensation is unseemly.”

You cannot survive in this business if you refuse to take a stand up front and demand payment before you begin your examination.

Early in my career, my staff and family  watched me struggle for years with futile attempts to get paid after the job was complete. Accounts receivable.   Now, we run our business by a specific set of policies which work well – like gravity – the same result every time.

Our new policy is that we do not examine a document unless we been paid for an examination, in full- up front.  As a result of this new policywe now have little or no collection problem. The only exception to this policy is working with the State or City who have policies which pay 30-90 days.   Of course, there are exceptions with less risk than normal but this course of action should only be followed after you acquire the experience and wisdom to discern good guys from the bad.

As an example, I just finished a case with one of the largest transportation companies in the state of Texas.  The chief counsel called me and asked me to join him in a meeting with outside counsel (an attorney from one of the largest law firms in Dallas) concerning a forged document.  The chief counsel discussed my fees during our initial phone call and then asked me to just bill him.  After two meetings in their office, an examination of the questioned document and a notarized opinion letter, I simply billed them for my travel time, meeting time, mileage, and for the examination and subsequent opinion letter.  My fee was paid within a week.  Sometimes we do business on a handshake. But, it could back fire.

For me, the most important part about the collection process in this case was that I obtained an agreement up front that they would pay for my services.  After that, they trusted me and I trusted them.  We both were satisfied with the outcome and we completed our business feeling good about our professional relationship.

Remember, wise and experienced experts like Rosalie Hamilton agree, and I concur, Do Not provide an opinion, written or verbal, until you have been paid for your opinion.  Let me give you one more example of how you must behave when forced with an emergency temptation to perform before you get paid:  emulate my good friend from Oklahoma, Expert Brenda Petty, who never fails to follow her own policies.  Brenda is one of the best experts in the South.  Brenda met her client and attorney at the courthouse just in time for trail but Brenda had not been paid.  Brenda’s client did not present Brenda with the payment before trial as agreed, so Brenda simply said, “I am out of here” and left the courthouse.  Brenda’s client caught up with her just as she opened her car door, and paid her on the spot.  Brenda testified – after she was paid.

Many experts require a client sign a contract before beginning work.  I find this slows down the process and I have found no agreement or contract that fits every situation.  Therefore, I seldom use a written agreement, but I do get a verbal agreement on price and method of payment before I issue a written report.  We simply say, “We do not release the results of our examination until we receive payment.  How would you like to pay?”

A written agreement is essential if you utilize a credit card to accept payment.  Get a signature or the credit card company will always side with the card holder.

Remember, when people call or contact you they expect to pay and are aware that when they place an order, it is time to pay and/or make arrangements to do so.  If you have trouble asking for payment for your services, please go to a McDonald’s and buy something.  Watch how the high school kids ask for payment:  no hesitation, no fear of rejection, no embarrassment, no debate, no offer to collect after you finish eating or drinking.  It is a simple statement  – “The amount of your order is $12.94.  Is that cash or credit, please?”

Habits are the best of friends or the worst of enemies.

So establish your good habits up front and you will be a success.

Celebrity Handwriting In the News

Most Forged Celebrity Autographs – 103.3 WODS-FM | The 60s, 70s

The annual list of the most counterfeited celebrity autographs for 2010 is dominated by iconic celebrities of past decades. is a given. But a new celebrity’s signature made the top 10 this year. Expert analysts at PSA/DNA Authentication …


The End of the Autograph? – Autograph Collectors Daily: Autograph

Autograph collecting, hobby news, book signings, conventions, in-person experiences and celebrity events. … George then proceeded to inscribe perfect forgeries of the signatures of the other three Beatles, even transferring the pen to his left hand to imitate Paul McCartney’s. Nobody is more blasé about autographs than the people who give them. They are fed up of signing an item then seeing it for sale online the following day. No wonder Ringo Starr said he wasn’t doing …


Top 10 Most Commonly Forged Autographs From Sports, History and

Yet again, another celebrity who passed away at a very young age (36 in 1962) which resulted in a very limited number of authentic autographs for fans of the iconic actress. Michael Jackson ($200 for a signed cut to $1000 or more for a …


A Skilled History of Digital Portrayal

These digital forgeries are rag in the bucks. When these photos are printed out on canvas, the look like a classic impressionist art. So digital portrayal has come a long way, and in the last few decadeor so, it went commercial!


**Obama Bombshell** Blue Hawaii: Health Department falsified Obama’s birth records!

FRAUD IN THE USA EXLUSIVE! Sometime between October 31, 2008, and July 27, 2009, the dates of Health Director Chiyome Fukino’s two press releases, Hawaii amended Obama’s birth record. A brand-new Certificate of Live Birth (not Certification) was issu…


#3 Fakes, Forgeries, and Mysteries: Rembrandt’s Son

Watch museum experts solve the DIA’s greatest art mysteries! Check back each week for a new whodunit. Visit dia.org today and get your tickets to see Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries.


Australian Student Builds Thriving Doc Exam business down under.

“First class people and first class training. Bart and Beth
were always were there to support me and
guid me to launch my document exam business.

I deeply appreciate their unyielding support to me and my

new career. I highly recommend their training.”
Paul Lockyer, Australia

How to Hire a Forensic Document Examiner by Beth Chrisman