The application of psychology in the criminal and civil justice system is known as forensic psychology. Criminal psychologists offer expert psychological opinions in legal matters; they use their knowledge of psychology to analyze a criminal’s mind and intent.
Criminal psychologists work is varied and challenging:
-they help the police in their investigations
-evaluate defendants to determine if they’re competent to stand trial
-provide expert evidence to the court
-provide a second opinion in cases where the accused pleads insanity
-work with offenders conducting assessments and interventions
-train law enforcement and other criminal justice workers
-advise in the selection of police officers
-do research for non-profit organizations, or for the government.
Most positions within this specialized area require more than a bachelor’s degree to be successful, but a very few academic institutions offer degrees specifically focused on Forensic Psychology. Students who are interested in pursuing a career in Forensic Psychology should take criminal justice and psychology classes.
Forensic psychologists work in many different setting such as correctional facilities, universities, research centers, hospitals, medical examiners’ offices, police departments or as independent consultants.
Criminal psychologists salaries: $44,520 – $83,431
Forensic psychologists with a master’s degree can be paid less than those who have obtained a doctorate.
Clinical Psychology: $50,825 – $99,990
Law Firm / Law Office: $61,477 – $98,505
Law Enforcement: $35,608 – $63,457
Prison / Secure Correctional Facility: $54,045 – $105,989
Community Mental Health: $40,724 – $77,467
Government: $40,000 – $60,000
Healthcare: $33,573 – $79,700