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For criminal psychologists out there: How did you prepare yourselves for the job?

Currently just figuring it out... psychology criminalogy job # experience school schooling

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Nattakarn’s Answer

Hello, Selena

Please see below or the link below for more information about the criminal psychologists.

https://jobdescriptionandresumeexamples.com/criminal-psychologist-job-description-example/#:~:text=What%20Does%20a%20Criminal%20Psychologist,determine%20their%20fitness%20for%20trial.

What Does a Criminal Psychologist Do?

Criminal psychologists basically analyze the behavior and actions of criminals to produce results necessary for a legal ruling or law enforcement decision.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for a Criminal Psychologist Role
If you are looking to work as a criminal psychologist, here are major requirements you will need to meet to stand a chance with employers:

Education and Training:

To qualify as a criminal psychologist, you are required to obtain an undergraduate degree usually in psychology or in a related discipline. Furthermore, you are expected to go for a Master’s and Doctorate degree studies in clinical or counseling psychology during which you participate in a year’s internship and subsequently pass the State examination to obtain license that allows you practice as a criminal psychologist

Critical Thinking Skills: The job of a criminal psychologist is an intellectually demanding task that requires you to possess the ability to thoughtfully process a situation

Research Skills: As one of their key qualities, criminal psychologists are adept to conducting research and surveys to draw conclusions on the motive and actions of a criminal
Knowledge of the law/Social issues: Criminal psychologists are knowledgeable in social and cultural matters; they have good understanding of case law, mental health law, and various other legal laws, knowledge of which aid them in effectively carrying out their duties.

Criminal psychologists perform various duties, tasks, and responsibilities as highlighted in the job description example below:

Carry out a mental assessment of suspect to determine their psychological status and fitness for trial
Evaluate parents in a child custody case to determine who is most suitable to take custody of a child
Provide results/materials that can serve as a valid evidence in a court trial
Stand as expert witnesses in a law court to testify for or against a prosecution/defense
Assist with the assessment and selection of the members of the jury for a trial
Assess and counsel prison inmates aiding them in rehabilitation and social reintegration to reduce the risk of re-offense
Teach principles of criminal psychology to psychology majors in colleges and universities
Engage in research and surveys to identify the reasons behind the perpetration of a crime
Apply the results of the research in the assessment and interview of a suspect
Assist law enforcement agencies in creating a profile for an unknown criminal offender
Evaluate police methods to recommend necessary adjustments that will boost effectiveness
Hired as consultants by various agencies/clients to provide expert recommendation, and help crack a psychological case which usually borders on crime
Provide therapy and behavior modification for offenders on probation
Assist attorneys in developing probing questions for a court case.

Where Does a Criminal Psychologist Work?
Courts
Social work
Correctional facilities
Academic institutes
Law enforcement agencies
Mental health centers
Private consultancy
Local, state, and federal government

What is the Employment Outlook for Criminal Psychology?

The outlook for careers in the field of criminal psychology is strong. According to the American Psychological Association, the need for experts in the field of criminal psychology has grown exponentially after a court ruling in 1962 determined that psychologists could offer expert opinions in court.

Although criminal psychology has become a popular field of study in more recent years due to exposure on TV and in popular culture, demand for qualified criminal psychologists still far outpaces supply. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not offer insight into the field of criminal psychology specifically, it does note that psychology in general is set to experience double-digit job growth through 2028.

How Much Does a Criminal Psychologist Make a Year?

According to PayScale, the average annual salary for a criminal psychologist is $58,246. However, the pay band extends from a low of $29,000 per year to well above $95,000 annually (March 2020 data).

Two primary factors will determine the income a criminal psychologist makes. The length of time an individual has worked in the field will have the largest impact on salary. The city in which one works will also have great influence on pay. Criminal psychologists who are employed in large cities or municipalities with a large caseload of forensic work will earn more than individuals employed in small towns or rural areas.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the mean annual wage in 2019 for criminal psychologists (listed under “psychologists, all other”) was $98,230.

What Education is Needed to Become a Criminal Psychologist?

To begin a career in the field of criminal psychology, one must start with a bachelor’s degree. These four-year programs focus on the development of general knowledge and skills in psychology. Some schools may offer special courses in the field of forensics that prepare graduates for entry-level work in the field of criminality, forensics, and criminal justice.

Thanks a ton! Selena N.

You are very welcome!:) Nattakarn Alkire

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Ron’s Answer

Just one thing to add for Selena ... as Nattakarn answered so well ... I am NOT a forensic psych... but have a good friend from grad school who is (in the US, this observation may vary dramatically based on country/culture). HE was hard to find: cause he was dealing w/ lots of criminals and bad stuff. So after grad school, I lost touch w/ him, and only years later found him because he did not want to be found (by some he had assessed or worked w/ in the past). I had never even thought of that before ... a unique responsibility in forensic psych in US for sure.
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