What is a Forensic Psychologist

As a Forensic Psychologist, you will need to be experienced in law and psychology. You will practice psychology within the criminal justice system and civil courts. You need to understand why certain behaviors occur and help to minimize and prevent criminal behaviors. You will use your knowledge of psychology to narrow down suspects or provide motives for crimes. You will do research, investigate, assess, consult, design, and implement treatment programs. You will often be called an expert witness during courtroom testimonies.

To become a Forensic Psychologist, you will need a degree in psychology, criminology, and forensics. You can earn a bachelor's degree in one of these areas, but most Forensic Psychologists have a master's degree or higher. You will need to take courses in criminal justice, forensics, abnormal psychology, and the psychology of deviance. A Forensic Psychologist is a worthwhile career, a busy career, and one that requires experience in understanding the criminal mind. You will generally work in rehabilitation or clinic or be a part of a prison or police department or even juvenile detention center. As a Forensic Psychologist, you can make an annual average salary of $115,360. You will earn a bit less if you work for the federal government or the state.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Forensic Psychologist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $37.05 an hour? That's $77,056 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 26,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Forensic Psychologist Do

There are certain skills that many Forensic Psychologists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Analytical skills, Communication skills and Integrity.

Learn more about what a Forensic Psychologist does

How To Become a Forensic Psychologist

If you're interested in becoming a Forensic Psychologist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 35.6% of Forensic Psychologists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 22.7% of Forensic Psychologists have master's degrees. Even though most Forensic Psychologists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Forensic Psychologist. When we researched the most common majors for a Forensic Psychologist, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Doctoral Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Forensic Psychologist resumes include Master's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Forensic Psychologist. In fact, many Forensic Psychologist jobs require experience in a role such as Psychologist. Meanwhile, many Forensic Psychologists also have previous career experience in roles such as Internship or Clinical Psychologist.

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Average Salary
$77,056
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
14%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
5,727
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Forensic Psychologist

Forensic Psychologists in America make an average salary of $77,056 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $118,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $50,000 per year.
Average Salary
$77,056
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Forensic Psychologist Demographics

Forensic Psychologist Gender Statistics

female

57.9 %

male

33.6 %

unknown

8.6 %

Forensic Psychologist Ethnicity Statistics

White

79.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.9 %

Black or African American

4.6 %

Forensic Psychologist Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

66.7 %

German

11.1 %

French

11.1 %
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Forensic Psychologist Education

Forensic Psychologist Majors

Forensic Psychologist Degrees

Bachelors

35.6 %

Doctorate

35.6 %

Masters

22.7 %

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High School / GED
Associate
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Master's
Doctorate

Top Colleges for Forensic Psychologists

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

3. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

5. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

6. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

7. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

9. University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,167
Enrollment
30,279

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990
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Online Courses For Forensic Psychologist That You May Like

Forensic Psychology - ACCREDITED CERTIFICATE
udemy
4.6
(2,774)

Become a specialist in criminal investigations and forensic profiling, start your career and add certificate to resume!...

SDF: Memory Forensics 1
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Learn Windows memory forensics...

Computer Forensics
edX (Global)

Digital forensics involves the investigation of computer-related crimes with the goal of obtaining evidence to be presented in a court of law. In this course, you will learn the principles and techniques for digital forensics investigation and the spectrum of available computer forensics tools. You will learn about core forensics procedures to ensure court admissibility of evidence, as well as the legal and ethical implications. You will learn how to perform a forensic investigation on both...

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Top Skills For a Forensic Psychologist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.3% of Forensic Psychologists listed Mental Health on their resume, but soft skills such as Analytical skills and Communication skills are important as well.

12 Forensic Psychologist RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Forensic Psychologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Forensic Psychologist. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Virginia, Connecticut, and Washington. Forensic Psychologists make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $93,353. Whereas in Virginia and Connecticut, they would average $89,314 and $88,704, respectively. While Forensic Psychologists would only make an average of $86,951 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Forensic Psychologist Jobs:
124
Highest 10% Earn:
$131,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Forensic Psychologist Jobs:
106
Highest 10% Earn:
$151,000
Location Quotient:
0.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Virginia

Total Forensic Psychologist Jobs:
126
Highest 10% Earn:
$140,000
Location Quotient:
0.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Forensic Psychologists

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