How To Become A Forensic Psychologist [2022 Guide]
Have you ever considered how to become a forensic psychologist? If you answered yes, I’m not surprised because this is a rewarding and exciting career.
The psychology industry is fast-paced, and forensic psychologists are in high demand.
Those interested in this field must be aware of everything required to become a forensic psychologist.
That being said, if you are one of them, stick with me because this article provides a guide through everything you need to know about becoming a forensic psychologist, including responsibilities, job opportunities, and income.
What Is Forensic Psychology?
Forensic psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the connection between crime, law, the criminal justice system, and psychology.
Delinquency, restorative justice, and criminal investigation may be specialties in the field, as well as the precision of witness statements and the use of the affirmative defense.
Forensic psychology is also concerned with psychopathic behavior, mental health and addiction problems, violent criminals, sexual offenders, and crime victims.
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Become A Forensic Psychologist
Step 1: Complete High School
A high school diploma or GED is required to pursue a degree in forensic psychology.
To increase their chances of admission to a potent psychology undergraduate program, students should take any psychology courses that are applicable and exceed expectations in biological sciences such as biology and chemistry.
Step 2: Earn An Undergraduate Degree
This profession’s strenuous coursework begins in undergraduate studies and lasts four years.
Most forensic psychologists have a bachelor’s degree in psychology (typically a bachelor of science or BS), but this is not always required.
During their undergraduate studies, students should complete all requirements for their desired graduate program.
Step 3: Pursue A Graduate Degree
After earning an undergraduate degree, students must apply to a 2-4 year graduate program.
Students will be able to specialize in forensic psychology at this level. To increase their chances of becoming licensed, students should look for doctoral programs that have been accredited by the APA.
Step 4: Prepare For And Take The EPP.
Most states require the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) to become licensed.
Students should take this exam as soon as they are allowed in their state, usually after completing the required school activities for their doctoral program.
Step 5: Complete The Mandatory Supervised Practice Hours
During their doctoral program, students will begin training under the supervision of a qualified psychologist.
Each state has different requirements, with some mandating postdoctoral practice hours. Students must be aware of their state’s requirements and plan their practice hours correspondingly.
Step 6: Obtain Professional Licensure
When all of the criteria for a specific state have been met, new psychologists can qualify for state licensure from their local licensing board.
Candidates should expect to be subjected to a criminal record check, biometric identification, and evaluation of their professional expertise.
Step 7: Look For Work In Forensic Psychology
After earning their license, a psychologist can work as an unchaperoned forensic psychologist.
Now is the time to start looking for work among other forensic psychologists, law enforcement agencies, prisons, and other contacts.
Step 8: Keep Your License Current
Most provinces require some level of continuing knowledge in the field to maintain forensic psychologist licensure.
The state licensing board would have to provide particular criteria as well as information on which courses and tasks can be used to earn education credits.
Overview Of Degrees To Get In Becoming A Forensic Psychologist
There are 3 degrees to get in becoming a forensic psychologist. The bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate. Here is a brief overview below:
A bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in forensic psychology are general admission requirements for a PhD or PsyD program on how to become a forensic psychologist.
Though most times a master’s degree in forensic psychology, on the other hand, is somewhat limited in terms of job opportunities
Doctoral programs in forensic psychology may prepare you to be a professional in areas such as crime, violence, risk, recidivism, criminal justice, and police psychology.
In forensic psychology graduate programs, you can also gain a deep understanding of research methodology.
Other topics could include best practices for working with forensic populations, such as violent criminals or people suffering from mental illnesses.
Other areas of forensic psychology in which you may develop expert knowledge include investigations, jury trials, and witness testimony.
- You May Like: How Hard Is It To Get Into Grad School For Psychology…
Specialty Areas Of Forensic Psychologists
There are many specialties within the field of forensic psychology that you can choose to specialize in; some of them are listed below:
Correctional Psychologist: Your work may involve working with prison guards and inmates in the prison system. This could include creating employment screening tests or giving professional therapy to the perpetrator.
Police Psychology: You can help police officers manage their mental health by providing clinical counseling and advice. You could also collaborate with police departments on criminology and assessing suspect individuals.
Crime and Delinquency: You could work with youngsters to avert or discuss deviant conduct and inclinations, as well as conduct psychopathic traits research.
Victimology: You may aid and advocate for victims’ families of illegal conduct, such as clinical setting counseling.
Legal Psychologist: You may assist representatives of the justice system before a guilty verdict, such as analyzing custody case circumstances or determining a suspect’s wellness for trial.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Forensic Psychologist?
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, forensic psychologists require a doctoral degree, such as a Psy.D. or a PhD, which generally takes 5-7 years to accomplish.
Experts must also finish one year of supervised experience after graduation before they can be licensed.
How Much Do Forensic Psychologists Make?
According to PayScale, forensic psychologists typically earn well above the national median for all careers, with an annual salary of $69,596.
However, as new professionals begin their careers, they may accept part-time or lower-tier roles that pay less.
Pay rates for doctorate holders in this field can be as low as $51,000, while recognized professionals in private practice can earn more than twice that amount.
Do You Need A Doctoral Degree To Become A Forensic Psychologist?
Earning a doctorate in psychology is the key to success in most provinces. Although there are some successful forensic psychologists without a doctorate, it is impossible to specify yourself without one.
What Is The Difference Between Criminology And Forensic Psychology?
.While these two fields overlap significantly, forensic psychologists select individuals, whereas criminologists concentrate on crimes from a social point of view, choosing to focus on why crimes occur in a broad sense and how to help stop them.
Becoming a forensic psychologist requires a lot of knowledge and skills as it is also a rewarding career.
By following the tips and guidelines provided in this article, you’re very sure to be on the verge of becoming a renowned forensic psychologist.
Did you find this article interesting? Do well to drop your questions and suggestions in the comment section.