Forensic Psychologist

by: mia young

Discription of the occupation

Forensic psychologists evaluate criminals to learn what their mindset and motives were at the time of an offense. They gauge what threat, if any, the offender will be to the public in the future. Their presence in courtrooms is often essential. Their evaluations, assessments and testimonies help inform the decisions of judges and juries. In addition, forensic psychologists often work with children who are caught in the middle of custody battles. They serve at-risk populations and trauma survivors by advocating for their wellness and justice in specific cases.

Working conditions

working 8-5 job everyday, long hours can be stressful, You could be based in one setting, or work across a number of sites such as secure hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation units, secure and open residential units and police stations. Sometimes they might may need to visit courts and tribunals to give expert witness testimony.

This work can be challenging and distressing. Also may also face physical and verbal abuse at times.

Training and educational requirements

In the training it is required that you will need to take part in continuing professional development (CPD) activities that will keep your knowledge and skills up to date, and benefit your professional practice and service users. Many employers will actively encourage you to gain wider experience and develop skills in areas such as teaching, training and supervision. You will also receive regular clinical and professional mentoring from experienced colleagues.

The educational requirements are British Psychological Society (BPS)-accredited degree in psychology, leading to Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) and a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)-approved programme of training leading to registration as a forensic psychologist.

job outlook

This field of psychology is often focused on the criminals themselves. Professionals in this field are often given the ominous responsibilities of trying to figure out why certain types of people commit crimes; what type of person committed a crime; and how to prevent people from committing crimes. Crime is a major problem in many areas, particularly densely populated areas. As much as we may wish for peaceful, crime-free lives, this is most likely not going to happen anytime soon. Punishing criminals or preventing them from committing crimes in the first place is typically necessary for protecting ordinary citizens from crime.

salary income

Trainee or newly qualified psychologists can earn around $20,000 a year. Qualified psychologists may earn between $30,000 and $45,000.

Consultants and heads of large departments may earn up to $70,000 or more.