Forensic Psychology

By: Kamryn Cockrill

All About Forensic Psychology

Forensic psychologists take on a unique role in the criminal justice system. They do not collect evidence and test it for a court trial. They analyze people’s minds to determine if they are telling the truth. A forensic psychologist must use his or her knowledge of psychology and criminal justice to counsel prison inmates, detect possible abuse, and determine witness credibility.

A Day In The Life of a Forensic Psychologist

The day to day life of a forensic psychologist is ever-changing. One minute he or she may be working on a huge murder case, and another he or she may be working with a couple that just got a divorce. Forensic psychologists are clinical psychologists at the core, and their work reflects that.

Job Duties

    • Evaluate parental rights cases

    • Counsel divorced couples

    • Train violent offenders

    • Determine visitation risks

    • Counsel families

    • Analyze sex offenders

    • Evaluate child custody cases

    • Counsel probationers

    • Assess child witness credibility

    • Counsel crime victims

    • Detect potential child abuse

Becoming a Forensic Psychologist

To become a forensic psychologist, you will need to get an extensive college education. Most forensic psychologists spend more than a decade in school to start their jobs, but they love what they learn about along the way.

Degrees That May Be Benficial

  • Master of Forensic Psychology

    · Master of Arts in Social Work

    · Master of Criminal Justice

    · Master of Psychology

    · Juris Doctorate

    · Doctorate of Psychology

    · Doctorate of Forensic Psychology

    · Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice

    · Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

    · Bachelor of Science in Psychology

    · Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science

    · Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

    · Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

    · Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Pay of a Forensic Psychologist

Since forensic psychologists have to spend a ton of time in school, you would assume they would make a ton of money. They do in comparison to a lot of other criminal justice careers, but they still make less than some people are comfortable with.

List of Salaries

  • 20+ years of experience: $50,335 – $248,323 per year

    · 10-19 years of experience: $29,900 – $242,395 per year

    · 5-9 years of experience: $33,840 – $102,824 per year

    · 1-4 years of experience: $31,123 – $88,569 per year

    · Less than 1 year of experience: $36,000 – $70,000 per year