Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychology is a profession that combines psychology with criminal investigation and the law and forensic psychologists practice psychology within the criminal justice system and the civil courts. They may perform a diverse set of services. For example forensic psychologists may evaluate individuals who have suffered trauma and then write a report for the court or for insurance companies assessing the psychological damage a person has suffered. Or they may conduct child custody or visitation risk evaluations. Some testify for either the prosecution or the defense with regard to the mental competency of both juvenile and adult offenders. Yet others provide psychotherapy to crime victims. Becoming a forensic psychologist requires patience and commitment because it requires working with people who have problems that are difficult to solve as well as the willingness to attend school for a number of years beyond a bachelor’s degree. According to the website httppsychology.about.com forensic psychologists need to earn a doctoral degree in either clinical or counseling psychology. Some universities have special programs for forensic psychology that combine courses in psychology and law. Admission into such programs is highly competitive and once admitted students must devote five to seven years to their graduate studies. Upon completion of this training and a certain amount of experience they can apply for certification from the American Board of Forensic Psychology. According to the website httppsychology.about.com the salaries forensic psychologists earn vary widely depending upon the nature of their employment. Entry-level salaries are between $35000 and $40000 but experienced forensic psychologists in private practice typically earn more.

Education Required: Doctoral Degree
Avg Salary: $37500
High Salary: $40000
Low Salary: $35000
Tasks: Testifies in court.
Evaluates a defendant's sanity.
Translates psychological opinions into a legal framework.
Determines the competency of criminals.
Also Called: Psychologist
Psychological Crime Investigator
Psychological Evaluator
Clinical Psychologist
Additional Resources: http://psychologyinfo.com/forensic/
http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologycareerprofiles/a/forensicpsych.htm
http://www.edinformatics.com/forensic/forensic_psychology.htm