Forensic Psychology Salary

Forensic Psychology Salary

Forensic Psychology Salary In The United States

Forensic psychologists are highly trained professionals who offer specialized psychotherapy services, such as investigating reports of child abuse and conducting different visitation risk assessments. The average yearly salary for these professionals ranges between $60,000 and $70,000 a year, and it is known that those who have a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology tend to earn a lot more (and to enjoy a greater job opportunity and job outlook at the same time). However, you can become a forensic psychologist only with an Associate’s Degree diploma, and you will be earning a starting level salary, which is typically between $35,000 and $40,000. The more experienced and highly trained forensic psychologists earn up to $95,000 a year.

Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States

The geographical location is one of the main factors which influence the pay scale of forensic psychologists across the United States. The higher costs of living also add to the salary – this is why most employees who live in the big cities earn more because living there is more expensive. The top three states where forensic psychologists earn a salary that is above the national average are the state of California, New York and Washington DC. Here, these professionals typically earn $80,000 a year or more.

Forensic Psychologist Job Description

Forensic psychologists are skilled individuals who usually play a vital role in the psychological assessment of offenders, and they also offer their support and expertise to help the victims of the offenders. In some cases, it is also the duty of the forensic psychologist to present all the necessary criminal evidence in court and to present themselves at mental health tribunals. These psychology professionals work closely with a variety of individuals, and they rely on their expertise, their in-depth research as well as their psychological theory to put diagnosis and to evaluate the patients. Most of the forensic psychologists that are active today choose to work within the prison service, although they are also hired by social services agencies, private hospitals and clinics as well as by the National Health Service.

The job duties and responsibilities of forensic psychologists are many, but generally speaking these professionals offer their services in the field of criminal profiling and investigating. They usually assess and treat the criminal behavior and they work with offenders, prisoners as well as victims of abuse. It is their duty to carry one to one assessments and to determine how high the risk of re-offending is for some of those in jail. Also, forensic psychologists implement and develop treatments and rehabilitation programs for the offenders and they also undertake statistical analysis for the psychological profiling of the forensic client.

They prepare formal written reports and deliver training to the support forensic staff, they attend court trials and they also provide expert witness testimony. Moreover, they also offer their services and advise to mental health tribunals and parole boards, and they get involves in additional fields to psychology, such as administration, training and management. In some cases, the forensic psychologist may even choose to mentor the psychological assistants or the future forensic psychologists.

How To Become A Forensic Psychologist?

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forensic pshychology courseThe first step toward becoming a reputable forensic psychologist is to make sure that you take psychology, science and math classes in high school. Although these classes may seem irrelevant for some future forensic psychologists, they play a pivotal role for your future development as they help you improve your skills and experiment with various interpretation techniques. Forensic psychologists typically work in criminal, family and civil courts and they are often responsible with determining the competency of different criminal offenders.

The second and perhaps most important step is obtaining your Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and then applying to graduate school. It is highly recommended to opt for a doctoral degree as well, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology is extremely useful for most forensic psychologists these days. Internships, on the other hand, are equally important and they must be completed in places that have a strong forensic background, such as correctional facilities or forensic hospitals. This is where you will get most of your experience. The final step is passing the licensing examination for your state, which typically includes both an oral and a written examination. After that, you need to pursue your certification with various psychological associations and to make sure that you meet all the criteria.


The certification in forensic psychology is typically offered by the ABFP, or the American Board of Forensic Psychology, which has been in the field for more than six decades and has been offering certification in forensic psychology for a very long time. In order to get your certification as a forensic psychologist, you must prove that you are worthy of it, that you have a Master’s degree and a PhD in Forensic Psychology and that you are competent and mature enough for this field of activity. You will only get your certification and get your approval from the board if you meet all the strict qualifications.

Forensic Psychology Certification In Canada, Australia And The UK

A Canadian forensic psychologist earns between C$45,000 and $148,000 a year, while a professional who works in the United Kingdom typically gets a starting point salary between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds a year, with the possibility of gaining even more as the time passes and they get more experience. In Australia, on the other hand, the average yearly salary for a skilled forensic psychologist ranges between AU$55,000 and AU$70,000.

Verdict On Forensic Psychology Salary

To sum it up, forensic psychology is one of the most sought-after and highest paid fields of psychology, and those who have a high resistance to stress and are mature enough for the position should certainly apply for a certification in the field. The forensic psychology salary is not only very rewarding, but very fulfilling as well given the fact that these professionals have the possibility to advance in the future, and they have a plethora of different work environments to choose from. Generally speaking, private clinics and agencies tend to pay forensic psychologists more on a yearly basis.