16 Jobs To Pursue With a Forensic Psychologist Degree
Updated February 16, 2023
If you're fascinated by criminal justice, psychology and the law, consider studying forensic psychology. This field of study focuses closely on the behaviors of criminals and inmates and uses this knowledge to help others in the justice system. With a degree in forensic psychology, you can work in a variety of settings, including prisons, victim advocacy centers and medical clinics to offer guidance and support to others.
In this article, we review what forensic psychology is and the different jobs that forensic psychologists can pursue.
What is forensic psychology?
Forensic psychology is a field of study students typically pursue when they want to learn about psychology, criminal behavior and the law. Students who pursue this degree program often aim to better understand human behaviors, decisions and actions so they can apply them to the justice system. There are many roles available for you to pursue to support, advise and guide those in the justice system, including criminals, law enforcement and victims.
Jobs for forensic psychologist majors
Whether you prefer to solve crimes, help victims through tough times or support criminals in their self-improvement efforts, there are many positions available for you to apply your advanced knowledge of psychology, the law and criminal justice. Here are some common jobs for forensic psychologist majors to pursue. For current salary information from Indeed, click on the links
National average salary: $40,760 per year
Primary duties: A victim advocate listens to the experiences of victims of unjust behaviors and provides emotional support and guidance on legal actions to take. Other key job responsibilities include creating a safe space for victims to discuss any traumatic or emotional experiences, determining which legal action to take according to the situation, attending legal hearings with victims and tracking the outcomes of victims' cases.
National average salary: $44,894 per year
Primary duties: A correctional officer works in prisons to supervise inmates serving sentences for crimes, including during meals, bathroom breaks and activities. Their key responsibilities are enforcing all the rules and regulations of the prison, patrolling and inspecting inmates' cells, checking and screening any visitors, providing support during counseling and rehabilitation sessions, reporting on inmate conduct and searching the facilities for any contraband.
National average salary: $47,569 per year
Primary duties: A probation officer works directly with someone who breaks the law by monitoring them to ensure they follow the rules needed to stay out of prison. Their main job duties include creating, suggesting and implementing treatment and rehabilitation plans, evaluating the progress of those on probation by meeting with them regularly, making sure probationers follow the guidelines and rules given to them by a judge and maintaining progress reports, case files and records.
National average salary: $51,480 per year
Primary duties: A clinical counselor, also known as a mental health counselor, assesses the mental health and behavioral challenges of clients, including depression, self-image, anxiety and substance abuse and helps to overcome them. Other key duties include running weekly group counseling sessions for juveniles, planning treatment and discharge plans for clients and holding weekly counseling sessions with clients overcoming addictions, trauma or mental health issues.
National average salary: $51,645 per year
Primary duties: Forensic science technicians work with forensic scientists by traveling to crime scenes and criminal investigations to collect samples, conduct tests and report their findings. Other key responsibilities are collecting evidence and analyzing it in a laboratory, handling physical evidence carefully to avoid contamination, using laboratory equipment and tools to process and analyze DNA samples and testifying as an expert witness during court cases.
National average salary: $54,883 per year
Primary duties: A jury consultant uses their expert knowledge of human behavior to help attorneys select the right jurors for certain cases. Other key job duties include researching the backgrounds of all jurors, assisting with the jury selection process, conducting focus groups or mock trials, collecting and evaluating demographic data of jurors and reviewing the jurors' behaviors and body language to provide insight into whether they're telling the truth.
National average salary: $60,092 per year
Primary duties: Forensic social workers assist those undergoing challenges that could affect children's well-being, including child custody, divorce, child maltreatment, juvenile arrests, imprisonment and civil disputes. Key duties include offering treatment options to children or parents, diagnosing various mental health illnesses and serving as expert witnesses to different child custody cases.
Related: Learn About Being a Social Worker
National average salary: $61,113 per year
Primary duties: A crime analyst works directly with detectives, investigators and law enforcement officers to collect and analyze data to locate certain trends in criminal activity to prevent them from reoccurring. Key responsibilities include interviewing detectives, police officers, witnesses, community members and suspects, collecting DNA samples and photographs from crime scenes to later analyze and writing detailed reports using statistics, trends and police reports.
National average salary: $64,095 per year
Primary duties: Forensic psychologist professors work at colleges, universities and other academic institutions to teach various subjects involving criminal justice, the law and psychology. Their main duties include conducting lectures, administering assignments, monitoring exams, answering any questions during lectures and following the institution's curriculum and guidelines.
National average salary: $65,256 per year
Primary duties: A forensic scientist gathers and studies evidence from crime scenes to help make accurate prosecutions for upcoming criminal cases. Their main responsibilities include conducting investigations on victims and crime scenes, reviewing and interpreting blood spatter patterns and evaluating the victim's tissues and bodily fluids to locate any traces of substance abuse.
National average salary: $68,893 per year
Primary duties: Forensics case managers screen, treat and handle cases for criminals undergoing substance abuse or mental illness challenges. Their key job duties include acting as the main contact between correctional facilities and court systems, recommending counseling and support services to clients, conducting drug tests on clients and referring clients to the necessary substance abuse, alcoholism or mental health facilities for recovery.
Related: Learn About Being a Case Manager
12. Forensic analyst
National average salary: $70,571 per year
Primary duties: A forensic analyst works in crime laboratories examining different pieces of evidence to help law enforcement identify suspects. Other key responsibilities include evaluating evidence pieces like fingerprints, hairs and blood, visiting crime scenes to conduct field tests, documenting findings received from lab tests, offering advice to judges and law enforcement based on their findings and testifying as a key witness in court.
National average salary: $75,653 per year
Primary duties: An investigative analyst, also known as an intelligence analyst, collects and analyzes information from various sources to prevent organized crime from occurring. Other responsibilities include interpreting threats to determine when crimes may take place, using advanced knowledge of human behavior to make predictions of the next moves criminals might make and evaluating data reports of past criminals to make accurate forecasts on the actions of future criminals.
National average salary: $83,293 per year
Primary duties: Forensic psychologist researchers conduct regular research and studies on subjects related to the law and criminal justice systems. Their key job duties include determining the effectiveness of different risk assessment strategies, running tests to determine the accuracy of eyewitnesses' memory recall abilities and evaluating and reporting on the success rates of victim treatment programs.
15. Legal consultant
National average salary: $92,145 per year
Primary duties: Legal consultants offer guidance and support on certain legal matters along with interpreting legal negotiations, contracts and documentation. Other job responsibilities include conducting in-depth analyses on data from labor abuses, visa regulations and temporary visa programs to address any essential policy issues, writing and reporting on any important legal agreements and researching upcoming case proposals to identify any potential problems or errors.
Related: Learn About Being a Consultant
National average salary: $105,028 per year
Primary duties: Clinical psychologists closely examine patients to accurately diagnose any emotional, behavioral or mental disorders to provide necessary treatment plans. Other responsibilities are researching complex behavioral health concepts and treatment methods to apply them to current patients' issues, performing diagnostic tests on patients, conducting psychotherapy sessions and helping patients and family members better understand and manage their issues.
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