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Updated / Emerging Occupations

Cyber Forensic Investigator

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advancements.

A cyber forensic investigator retrieves and makes sense of electronic information from computers, smartphones, tablets, and other types of devices. The devices may have been erased, damaged, compromised, or corrupted (by unauthorized access or malicious software).

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 19,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Computer Forensic Investigator, Cyber Forensic Analyst, Intelligence Analyst

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

This occupation has not yet received an official NOC code. However, it is considered similar to the following historical NOC codes. CAUTION—As this occupation is only similar to these NOC codes, related details and labour market information may not be accurate:

  • 2006 NOC: Systems Security Analysts (2171.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (C071) 
  • 2011 NOC: Information systems analysts and consultants (2171) 
Skills Shortage*

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

12%
12%
*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Cyber Forensic Investigator occupation
Average Wage*
Starting
Overall
Top
*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Cyber Forensic Investigator occupation
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Interest Codes
The Cyber Forensic Investigator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

*The Cyber Forensic Investigator is similar to this NOC group
Systems Security Analysts
METHODICAL

Interest in precision working to implement and administer system security infrastructure and security tools, and in maintaining security practices and procedures

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing physical and technical security risks to data, software and hardware in order to develop policies and contingency plans that minimize the effects of security breaches

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to advise on systems security issues and on enhancing security tools, techniques and business practices; in enforcing security practices and procedures, and in addressing security problems such as computer viruses and unauthorized information access, modification or deletion

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Cyber forensic investigators understand all aspects of computers and related devices. This includes how they store and secure data and communicate over a network.

Duties vary depending on the employer and the nature of the data. Specialty fields include mobile digital forensics, computer forensics, and emerging vehicle system forensics. In general, cyber forensic investigators:

  • search for digital evidence
  • advise on digital evidence (its existence and reliability)
  • conduct interviews and take statements
  • examine, document and prepare evidence
  • develop technical reports (on how digital evidence was discovered and all of the steps taken to retrieve it)
  • conduct reverse engineering
  • conduct data-breach and cybersecurity investigations
  • ensure digital evidence is managed in accordance with the Canadian Evidence Act
  • create an image of the original data, validate the image and search the true copy
  • assist field investigators (for example, they may attend searches conducted by warrant or conduct field acquisitions of data)
  • present evidence to a formal committee or court
  • work closely with field investigators
  • keep up to date with emerging technology and methodologies.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Cyber forensic investigators work in an office or a lab setting. They may have to sit for long periods (while using a computer). They may have to travel to crime scenes. They may be called on to testify in court about evidence collected.

  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Cyber forensic investigators need to possess:

  • a curious nature
  • the ability to remain unbiased
  • the skills to think critically
  • the skills to study complex problems
  • the ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • speaking, listening, and writing skills
  • a good sense of organization
  • observational skills
  • the ability to spot patterns and see connections
  • the ability to focus on both fine details and the big picture
  • a high degree of honesty and integrity
  • the ability to keep things confidential
  • a keen interest in keeping up to date with technology
  • a willingness to pursue ongoing training (to maintain certifications and designations)
  • skills in teamwork and industry collaboration.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

The minimum requirement for cyber forensic investigators is a specialized diploma in cyber forensics.

Systems and security threats are constantly changing. As a result, cyber forensic investigators must constantly upgrade their knowledge.

Most employers prefer to hire experienced applicants. Candidates should have a 4-year bachelor’s degree or at least a 2-year diploma in computer science or a related discipline. They should also have basic training in handling cyber-forensic evidence. Employers normally require successful applicants to complete a security background check.

Employers prefer to hire investigators who have at least the following information security certifications:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • CompTIA Security+
  • GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC).

Some employers also seek applicants who have further designations, such as:

  • AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE)
  • Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFP)
  • EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE)
  • GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA)
  • X-Ways Professional in Evidence Recovery Techniques (X-PERT).

In Canada, the Canadian Police College offers the Computer Forensic Examiner (CMPFOR) program and the Cyber Crime Investigator’s Course (CCIC). These courses are for those who are authorized by their organization to conduct computer forensic analysis.

To learn more about education and certification, see Other Sources of Information.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Concordia University of Edmonton

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies through the objective application of specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the I.S.P. designation, you must be a registered member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

What You Need

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) has defined the body of knowledge required for certification and recognizes the many different ways this standard may be achieved. Applicants must provide documented evidence for 1 of the following I.S.P. designation criteria routes: (1) Established Academic, (2) IT Industry Leader, (3) Established IT Professional, (4) Education Plus Experience, (5) Exam, (6) Professional Experience Only (applicants must have entered the field prior to 1976), or (7) Upgrade from Candidate Status. For official, detailed information, visit the CIPS website, CIPS Alberta website or contact CIPS Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Information systems professionals who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered professionals in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta
PO Box 21085
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6R 2V4
Phone Number: 780-431-9311
Toll-free phone number: 1-844-431-9311
Fax number: 780-413-0076
E-mail: alberta@cips.ca
Website: ab.cips.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • an increased human need (for example, new services)
  • technological advances
  • greater specialization within an occupation.

Often, there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans are already working in this emerging occupation, but future demand for cyber forensic investigators is unknown.

Cyber forensic investigators work for:

  • law enforcement
  • IT companies
  • educational and financial institutions
  • consulting firms
  • government departments
  • online retailers.

In Alberta, most cyber forensic investigators work in major urban centres. They may work for specialized software development firms. Or they may work for large organizations that have a law-enforcement information-systems department. Investigators with graduate degrees and many years on the job may move into management or become consultants.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors, including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C071: Information Systems Analysts and Consultants occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 212 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no salary data is available for this occupation.


*The cyber forensic investigator is similar to this NOC group
Information systems analysts and consultants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.56 $48.59 $33.95 $34.65
Overall $23.68 $70.03 $43.70 $43.41
Top $29.34 $78.95 $52.30 $49.88

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
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Educational Services
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
    • Networking
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Physics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website: www.cipsalberta.ca

Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website: www.comptia.org

Information System Audit and Control Association website: www.isaca.org

International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) website: cert.eccouncil.org

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)² website: www.isc2.org

International Systems Security Association (ISSA) website: www.issa.org

SANS Institute website: www.sans.org

Software Engineering Institute website: www.sei.cmu.edu

The International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists: www.iacis.com

The International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners website: www.isfce.com

Technology Alberta website: technologyalberta.com

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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