One of the areas of psychology that is experiencing the most growth and interest from students and practitioners alike is Forensic Psychology. This is due, in large part, to the increasing popularity of Forensic Psychologists on television shows and movies. They are often in dramatic roles with fast paced workdays. While Forensic Psychology is a very exciting and rewarding career path, the actual practice of this field is not what is seen on television.
What Can I Do With a Forensic Psychology Degree?
There are a wide variety of possible positions for individuals holding a graduate degree in Forensic Psychology. Some of these include:
Participation in Court Proceedings: One of the most popular portrayals of Forensic Psychologists on television is in dramatic and fiery court testimony. It is true that many of these psychological professionals work in the court system, the testimony is very scientifically based. Forensic Professionals are asked to provide testimony about such topics as whether an individual is mentally fit to stand trial, whether a person was fully aware of their actions during a crime, whether an individual suffers from a mental illness and whether a defendant should be found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity. These professionals also work with attorneys to help choose jurors and prepare witnesses.
Work With the Police Force and First Responders: While most Forensic Psychologists will never be called to a crime scene, there are those professionals who report to crime scenes to work alongside the police department to gather information about a crime. More frequently, psychologists who work with the Police Force work at a police station to help debrief police officers and first responders, interpret data regarding psychological information and other related issues.
Complete Assessments and Report Writing: A large part of most Forensic Psychologists career is assessments and report writing. Whether you are writing for the court, a police department or a private matter, these reports are scientific investigations or a person or person’s mental state or psychological issue.
Work in the Prison System: Another place you will find Forensic Psychologists employed is within the prison system. They may work directly with inmates to help them work through psychological difficulties. They may work with the staff to help them better do their job.
How Much Money Can I Earn as a Forensic Psychologist
The answer to this question varies greatly depending upon a number of factors. These include:
- Your level of education
- The region of the country you work in
- Which area of Forensic Psychology you pursue
- Your level of experience in the field
According to Payscale.com a Forensic Psychologist can earn anywhere from $35,333 to $103,576 annually. There are some highly esteemed Courtroom Forensic Psychologists who earn well beyond $103,576 annually for their testimony.
Forensic Psychology is an exciting and growing section of professional psychology. Those psychologists who hold a doctor degree will have the most options for employment, although many practicing Forensic Psychologists hold their Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. For those individuals with an interest for a career at the intersection of The Law and Psychology, Forensic Psychology may be the career for you.