Forensic psychologists are usually licensed psychologists who specialize in applying psychological knowledge to legal matters, both in the criminal and civil arenas. They hold graduate degrees in psychology, most often a Ph. D. or a Psy. D.
Becoming successful in this field is not easy. However, for those with the energy, stamina and critical thinking skills, it can be a rewarding occupation. A few tips: Apply for forensics -related internships, such as at forensic hospitals, correctional facilities and community mental health settings.
In either case, forensic psychology could be a great career path for you. Interest in forensic psychology has exploded in the past few years, but there are many misconceptions surrounding this career . For example, it’s not all spouting expert analysis from the witness stand or convincing criminals to admit their guilt.
Due to an aging population and health care costs associated with unhealthy lifestyles, personal and family problems and crime and punishment, there will be increased demand for forensic psychology professionals in schools, law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, consulting firms, and mental health centers.
A forensic psychologist will also consider physical evidence and the state of a crime scene to better understand the nature of the crime and the psychological state of the individual who committed it. Evidence, or even the lack of evidence, at a crime scene can often be used to develop a criminal profile.
How long will it take for me to get a forensic psychology degree? Depending on the program and the level, a degree in forensic psychology can take between two to six years on average to complete, with master’s degrees taking one to two years of full-time study and doctorate degrees taking four to six years.
The average annual cost for a four-year private non-profit school is $36,880. Master’s degree program tuition at in-state public institutions costs an average of $8,670 per year, and doctorate program tuition costs $10,830 per year at in-state public institutions.
Work Environment In some cases, criminal psychologists may work closely with police and federal agents to help solve crimes , often by developing profiles of murderers , rapists, and other violent criminals . Some work for local, state, or federal government, while others are self-employed as independent consultants.
How to become a Criminologist Complete a bachelor degree in criminology , criminal justice, justice studies, legal studies or psychology or a related field. Alternatively, complete post graduate studies in criminology . Undergo a Police Check or Working with Children Check, depending on your employer and the role.
The federal government has the highest demand for forensic psychologists out of anywhere else, and employs over 5,000 of these psychologists with an average salary of $85,000 (09).
Courses in algebra and calculus give you the basic math background you need to understand scientific studies, and courses in statistics and data analysis can help you ensure you know how to properly formulate and analyze scientific studies.
Forensic psychology careers include much more than working as a licensed counselor. Bachelor’s in forensic psychology jobs include police officer, community service manager, and probation officer. Check out the sections below for more information about entry-level jobs in forensic psychology .
Top 5 Highest Paying Forensic Science Careers Forensic Medical Examiner . Perhaps the highest paying position in the field of forensic science is forensic medical examiner . Forensic Engineer. Forensic Accountant. Crime Scene Investigator . Crime Laboratory Analyst.
Have a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree from a U.S.-accredited college or university. Be able to obtain a Top Secret Clearance. Have two years of full-time professional work experience (see work experience waiver for exceptions). Meet the FBI’s Employment Eligibility requirements.
Forensic psychologists contribute their expertise in the mental health field to criminal investigations. Most forensic psychology positions require a doctoral degree . Most professionals in this field spend four years on their bachelor’s degree, two years on their master’s degree, and four years on their doctorate .