Criminal psychologists are skilled professionals who closely study the behavior and thoughts of criminals. It is the duty of criminal psychologists to try and figure out what criminals are thinking and what motivates them to commit a murder. Throughout the past several years, people have become increasingly more interested in the job of criminal psychologist, mainly due to forensic-related TV series. On a different note, criminal psychologists are closely related to the field of forensics and, as Payscale states, their average yearly salary can vary anywhere between $34,000 and $103,000, depending on their experience and level of expertise.
Pay Scale In Different Areas Of The United States of America
As it happens in virtually any other field of work, criminal psychologists are paid differently across the United States. For instance, the median yearly salary of such a psychologist in the state of Auckland is of around $62,000 a year, while those from Alabama can earn as much as $77,000 or $80,000. The average yearly sate of a criminal psychologist who lives and works in the state of Arkansas is of around $47,000, while the highest paying state in the United States of America is, by far, California. Criminal psychologists who work in California receive the highest mean yearly wage, of up to $119,000 or even more. However, professionals who work here should expect to get around $90,000 to start with.
Criminal Psychologist Job Description
These professionals are trying to give answers to some of the most ardent questions in the police and forensic industry: what is it that motivates somebody to commit an awful crime. Simply put, criminal psychologists are professionals who have in-depth training and experience both in the field of law and in the field of psychology. These professionals are close to attorneys, judges and other legal professionals and they are always doing their best to bring criminals to face justice.
These professionals perform both formal and informal psychological assessments on the criminal, trying to determine the mental status and the motivations of the accused person, in order to see whether they are suitable to face trial. In extreme cases, the criminal psychologist may also order or even perform a polygraph test. On the other hand, these professionals often with offenders, trying to promote healthy and efficient rehabilitation and to integrate them in society.
These professionals are commonly referred to as investigative analysts or criminal profilers, and they are by far one of the most important part in the field of forensic psychology. It is their duty to closely analyze the crime scene and to come up with evidence that investigators can use in order to identify the offender, as well as to create their psychological profile. The criminal psychologist uses human behavior and crime statistic data to guess the sex, age, occupation and overall behavior of the unknown offender. The expertise and experience of the criminal psychologist play a crucial role here, as these professionals not only identify the criminals but they also try to predict the likelihood of the criminal behavior repeating itself in the future.
Criminal psychologists can be found in a variety of different settings, from forensic hospitals and state psychiatric hospitals to community mental health centers and even private practices. The criminal psychologist deals with interviewing people and conducting case research on a daily basis, and they can choose to work either on a full-time or on a part-time basis.
How To Become A Criminal Psychologist?
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There are several different ways in which one can become a reputable criminal psychologist. Firstly, it is important to understand that without the proper educational credentials, you cannot become a criminal psychologist. Only with in-depth, thorough training in the field of psychology you can truly understand the health patterns, the thoughts and the behavior patterns of different prisoners. This is what you can learn both in the classroom and on the job.
As a criminal psychologist, your basic profession is that of psychologist which means you should consider opting for compelling degree programs in sociology, chemistry as well as criminal justice. Literature and politics can also come in handy in the long run, and generally speaking those who pursue their career as criminal psychologists as early as possible actually have a chance to succeed. In spite of the fact that not all the criminal psychologists today have graduate degrees, a degree certainly comes in handy as it opens may doors as an investigator as a police force.
Some of the criminal psychologists even choose to take their training a step further and they enroll in Master’s degree and Doctorate degree programs in sociology or psychology, as this is where they have the chance to study forensics and criminal procedure in-depth. On the other hand, certain medical programs and law schools offer their students the possibility to specialize in forensics as well. Internships are highly recommended as well, especially since many community health organizations, prisons and police departments are willing to hire students as interns. This is perfect for gaining experience, as well as for developing new connections and getting excellent grades.
If you live in the United States of America, then you should know that most of the states require their professional criminal psychologists to be licensed, although the requirements vary from state to state. Generally speaking, the basic licensing requirements involve a doctoral degree along with minimum 12 months of experience in the field. An internship that is recognized and approved by the state is another eligibility requirement. Criminal psychologists also have the opportunity to get certified by the ABPP or the American Board for Professional Psychology. If they opt for the certification, they will become forensic psychologists. The certification has the same requirements as the licensure, the sole difference is that the certification requires some post-doctoral training as well.
Criminal Psychologist Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
The average yearly salary of a criminal psychologist in the United Kingdom is between 35,000 and 47,000 pounds, while one of these professionals who works in Canada should expect to be paid between CAD 72,000 and CAD 87,000 a year. An Australian criminal psychologist earns between Au$25,000 and Au$90,000.
Verdict On Criminal Psychologist Salary
Criminal psychology is a very captivating field of work, in spite of being very demanding and very stressful at times. Even so, these professionals can truly enjoy a very rewarding salary in the long run!