Forensic Psychologist salary also known has Criminal Psychologist in the US is between $38,772 – $122,849. The median pay for forensic psychologist or criminal psychologist salary is about $61,489, the hourly
The forensic psychologist profession is part of the larger psychologist profession, and the profession is quite growing due to the need in investigations and other related matters. Most forensic psychologist salary is based on the level of education as most of them have a doctorate degree.
You can find work in government agencies, university, research institute, private practice and police and criminal investigation bureaus. In the United States the salary vary by state, employer and other factors. Individuals pursuing forensic psychology careers might also have opportunities to be self-employed. Some may work as consultants, for instance, or they may choose to receive compensation for testifying as expert witnesses.
Forensic Psychologist Salary
The forensic psychologist salary is quite competitive and attractive, According to payscale.com, national salaries for criminal or forensic psychologists range from a low of $33,900 to a high of $103,000. The forensic psychologist does however have some perks they enjoy such as overtime allowances and sometimes inconvenience allowances among other benefits accrued to them.
In previous years statistics shows that the top 25 percent of forensic psychologist salary is roughly $100,000 a year or more, while the bottom 25 percent earned $65,000 a year or less. This is expected to increase in the coming years ahead.
Forensic Psychologist Job Description
The job of a forensic psychologist mostly deals with investigative activities into crime and unsolved cases. Part of their investigative activities include the following.
- Carrying out one-to-one assessments, often to assess the risk of re-offending (e.g. for lifers being released into the community or sex offenders after a treatment programme) or of suicide, self-harm or other high-risk behaviour;
- Developing, implementing and reviewing appropriate offender treatment and rehabilitation programmes, including anger management, treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, and social and cognitive skills training;
- Undertaking research projects to evaluate situations affecting prisoners, e.g. investigating the impact of bullying in prisons or effectiveness of an anger management programme;
- Undertaking statistical analysis for forensic client profiling;
- Delivering training to support forensic staff in areas such as stress management, or training on how to cope with understanding bullying and techniques for crisis (hostage) negotiation;
- Providing expert witness testimony at court, for parole boards and mental health tribunals;
- Contributing to policy and strategy development to ensure continuous service improvement.
Activities carried out by the forensic psychologist defer by the industry and the nature of job involved, some of the places you will find a forensic psychologist are:
- Police departments
- Government agencies
- Prosecutors’ offices
- Universities and colleges
- Law firms
- Investigation Bureau
- Insurance companies
- Research Institute
- Musuems – Archeologist Department
- Consulting firms
Forensic Psychologist Schools and Education
To be forensic psychologist you must first be trained as a psychologist from a reputable and accredited institution, a 3 or 4 years bachelors degree is required to practice. You can follow it up with a 1 year master degree in forensic psychology and a Doctorate degree to cap it all.
However education is a constant thing, and there are other professions and study programs similar to the crime investigation and psychology. More often you need to be accredited to practice, by joining associations and bodies that regulates the activities of the forensic psychologist.
Your years of experience will give you the right exposure and credibility your work deserves, also the pay and responsibilities increases with experience. It is not required to study medicine to became a forensic psychologist, as some may think.
You may find schools that offer online or campus programs. See the school selection box to choose a good school and be on you way to earn a good forensic psychologist salary you deserve after training.