Forensic psychologists are experts in criminal motives, mental illness, and profiling. They help other specialists select juries, counsel suspected criminals with mental illness, meet with lawyers, and assess whether accused criminals are competent to be put on trial.
Some forensic psychologists work exclusively as researchers. Many are currently conducting research to improve interrogation techniques and mental health assessment.
Some forensic psychologists find jobs as consultants. Forensic science consultants are typically hired to conduct accused criminal, witness, and jury assessment. They also meet with police officials to discuss ways to reduce crime, improve interrogations, and other important matters.
There are many diverse opportunities available to forensic psychologists. All types of research is currently being conducted in this field, and it is constantly changing. Many people enter this field to work for the public good. However, forensic psychology can be very challenging since these specialists are often in close contact with mentally ill and violent criminals.
Education and Training
State licensing boards typically only professionally license forensic psychologists with PhDs. Forensic psychologists with master’s degrees find jobs at research firms, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
There are few forensic psychology graduate programs offered in the United States. People interested in this field should major in a related subject and take courses in forensic science, criminology, statistics, criminal law, and psychology.
Forensic psychologists work for universities, consulting firms, police departments, and government agencies. The American Psychological Association (APA) provides networking opportunities for students pursuing forensic psychology careers.
Associations and Groups
Additional details about forensic psychology careers can be obtained from:
- American Academy of Forensic Psychology
- American College of Forensic Examiners
- American Psychology – Law Society
- American Psychological Society
- International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology