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How To Become A Criminal Psychologist : Step By Step Career Guide 2020

Criminal Justice Career Guides

How To Become A Criminal Psychologist : Step By Step Career Guide

A criminal psychologist studies the behavioral patterns and psychology of criminals. This job is very interesting for those who have interest in both crime and psychology fields. You must have seen in many dramas or movies how professionals anticipate a criminal’s next move based on his previous ones or how they assess from their  surroundings what a criminal might do in future. Such professionals do not only provide assistance and help with cases but can also prevent many crimes before they happen.
Committing crime is not a normal thing for human beings. Why some people choose to break the laws and what makes them violent are the questions that need to be answered. Criminal psychologist basically deals with why different people commit crimes . Some times these professional make observations and predictions regarding the situation and may anticipate about future move of criminals. Criminal psychologists may study all aspects of the criminal including the background and environment the criminal was raised in as well as other extraneous variables which may influence their behavior. Studying what reasons led to criminal choices is the job of criminal psychologist.
A criminal psychologist is also responsible for criminal profiling that can be used to apprehend crimes in future. In criminal profiling,  a psychologist assess the suspect and suggest different strategies that can be used to interview suspect and help with law enforcement. A criminal psychologist will also provide counseling to criminals and help them in rehabilitation process.

Why do we need criminal Psychologists

Criminal Psychology is a combination of Criminal justice and human psychology. Criminal psychologists are highly trained professionals that have grip over the subjects of criminal laws and human psychology. Through their expertise, the criminal psychologists assists the law enforcing agencies in understanding the human psychology involved behind the criminal practices. In more clear words, the criminal psychologists assist the criminal justice system in understanding the reason behind the conduct of a crime.

Apart from the criminals, the criminal psychologists also work closely with the witnesses of a crime scene. While working on the witnesses, the prime responsibility of a criminal psychologist is to determine the efficacy of a witness. They determine the mental health conditions of a witness and assist the courts whether the witness can be considered as legitimate or not.

Criminal psychologists are key players of the criminal justice system. They combine the empirical evidence of a crime with their training and education to ensure that the justice is served.

Work Environment 

As interesting as the job seems,  a criminal psychologist will work with different suspects, analyzing the situation and providing court testimony.  Criminal psychologists will spend most of their time in interviewing suspects or doing their background checks for detailed study of criminal.  They will work with police and Federal agents to help them with criminal cases. Criminal psychologist will make profiles of criminals like murderers,  rapists,  kidnappers or serial killers etc.

Who Are Criminal Psychologists Employed By? 

Criminal psychologists are employed  by different institutions on local, federal or state level. They are hired by government while some are self employed as independent consultants. Private agencies  also hire criminal psychologist. Some criminal psychologists teach in specialized criminal training facilities or universities.

Criminal Psychologist Requirements

Educational Requirements

After earning a bachelor degree in psychology you can start your career as criminal psychologist. But higher degrees like Masters or PhD will help you in progressing your career as criminal psychologist. In short,  a degree in criminal psychology,  forensic psychology or clinical psychology can earn you a promising career of criminal psychologist. A state issue licensed is also required to start practice as criminal psychologist. Extra certifications also add up to your overall value as a criminal psychologist.

How To Become A Criminal Psychologist

  • Earn A Bachelor Degree

    A student may choose between courses of human behavior, psychoanalysis, forensic science or criminology.
  • Earn A Master Degree

    ou need to obtain a degree from accredited school so that you can earn licence later. Some schools offer special programmes of criminal or forensic psychology while others may offer programs like clinical psychology with emphasis on forensic psychology.
  • Gain Experience

    In order to get licence, a person must work at least one year in the field. Experience can be gained through internships, clinical practice or residencies
  • Obtain A License

    It is important for people who are working as criminal psychologist to meet the requirements of government issued licensed
  • Become Board Certified

    Though not an absolute necessity for training, forensic psychologists might desire to apply for professional certification with the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP)

How Long Does It Take To Become A Criminal Psychologist

How To Become A Criminal Psychologist

If you want to pursue the career of criminal psychologist than

Educational Requirements

After earning a bachelor degree in psychology you can start your career as criminal psychologist. But higher degrees like Masters or PhD will help you in progressing your career as criminal psychologist. In short,  a degree in criminal psychology,  forensic psychology or clinical psychology can earn you a promising career of criminal psychologist. A state issue licensed is also required to start practice as criminal psychologist. Extra certifications also add up to your overall value as a criminal psychologist.

What do you learn in criminal psychologist degree

During the course work of the degree, there will be different subjects which you will be learning. Interested in knowing about the details that you will learn during your degree? Keep reading, in the upcoming section, we will be discussing about the courses that you are going to learn during your degree.

  • Biology

In the biology course, the students will learn about the impact biological factors on the human decision making. For example, if a person had faced a trauma during his childhood he is likely to fear and take decisions accordingly. So, the students will be taught about examining the medical history of a person in certain way that can determine his patterns of decision

  • Psychology

During the course of psychology, the students will learn about the emergence of pattern behaviors. The students shall also learn about the way in which life experiences can impact the decision making process of a human being.

  • Sociology

Sociology is an important factor of criminal justice system. The students will learn about the ways in which societies see crimes and criminals. The punishments set for a crime is primarily driven by the social factor and they society determines the punishment for a crime. You will get an understanding of how the punishments are influenced by the society.

  • Criminology

During the course of criminology, the students will learn about different theories of criminology. The course of criminology will cover traditional as well as modern theories and will examine how these theories are applicable in the criminal justice system.

  • Legal System

The students will also learn about the different trends of legal system and it history. The history section of the course work will cover the evaluation of criminal justice system over the time. The trends of legal system will enlighten the students about the developments that have taken place in the legal system.

Criminal Psychology Full Education And Career Guide 2020

criminal-psychology

 

Criminal Psychologist Education Requirements

Earn A Bachelor Degree

Any study in psychology field will be beneficial in career of criminal psychology. A student may choose between courses of human behavior,  psychoanalysis, forensic science or criminology. To volunteer in forensic setting will also be good idea.  Internship is also required for career of criminal psychologist. Some institutions have requirements to complete internship before you earn graduate degree.

Earn A Master Degree

A master degree is required to start career as criminal psychologist. It takes two years to complete master degree. Student may opt for PhD degree which will require five years of education along with one year of postdoctoral clinical training.  You need to obtain a degree from accredited school so that you can earn licence later. Some schools offer special programmes of criminal or forensic psychology while others may offer programs like clinical psychology with emphasis on forensic psychology.

Gain Experience 

In order to get licence, a person must work at least one year in the field. Experience can be gained through internships, clinical practice or residencies. Different government agencies also hire students to help them in gaining experience.  Some universities also assist their students in finding institution to gain experience. Experience is usually gained under supervision of a licensed criminal psychologist.

Obtain A License

It is important for people who are working as criminal psychologist to meet the requirements of government issued licensed. In order to become licensed a candidate must:
  • Hold a doctoral degree
  • Have at least one year of experience of work in field
  • Pass the exam to obtain the license
  • Get a license
  • Become board certified
  • May apply for additional certifications
  • Candidates need 1000 hours of post doctoral experience and 100 additional hours in field of forensic psychology to become certified criminal psychologist.

Become Board Certified 

Though not an absolute necessity for training, forensic psychologists might desire to apply for professi

onal certification with the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP). The Diploma in Forensic Psychology in the ABFP is the only certificate for psychologists. ABFP certificate applicants complete 1,000 hours of knowledge and at least 100 hours of schooling within the specialty, be certified in their jurisdiction of training, and should hold a degree from a training program.

Key skills needed :

A person needs to have strong written, verbal and communication skills. They must also possess strong initiative abilities along with observational skills to become criminal psychologist. Patience while working on cases and ability to identify and interpret patterns are requirements for this job.
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How To Become A Criminal Psychologist 

  • Bachelor Degree Course Selction

A student may choose between courses of human behavior, psychoanalysis, forensic science or criminology.

  • Master Degree

You need to obtain a degree from accredited school so that you can earn license later. Some schools offer special programmes of criminal or forensic psychology while others may offer programs like clinical psychology with emphasis on forensic psychology.

  • Internship Or Experience

In order to get license, a person must work at least one year in the field. Experience can be gained through internships, clinical practice or residencies. If you are in enrolled in a university and you are willing to gain some experience, you are advised to contact the Students placement department of your university. Many of the universities in US are helping out their students for getting the relevant experience by assisting them in finding the appropriate institutions through which they can gain experience.

Here are some of the suggested institutions from which you can gain the relevant experience

  • Any of the government institution working in the area of criminal psychology at local, state and federal level
  • Private consulting Firms
  • Prisons
  • Hospitals
  • Courts
  • Police department

 

  • Government Issued License

It is important for people who are working as criminal psychologist to meet the requirements of government issued licensed.

 Usually the requirements for a person who is willing to get the license are:

  • To have a doctoral degree
  • Must have completed an internship for gaining experience
  • At least have one year of professional experience.

If you are interested in applying for the license, you will have to go through a test. if you pass the test, you will be awarded with the license for a certain period of time. Once that duration is over, you will have to attend some lectures for the renewal of your license.

  • American Board of Forensic Psychology Certified

Though not an absolute necessity for training, forensic psychologists might desire to apply for professional certification with the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP)

  • Complete Continuing Education

Though you might have become a successful criminal psychologist for the time being but your future success depends on your emphasis on continuing education. With each passing day, the laws criminal justice system are changing and this requires a criminal psychologist to remain familiar with these changing trends.

Continuing education in the field of criminal psychology will not only help you remain up to date with the changing laws but it will also improve your expertise through which you can attain excellence in the field or criminal psychology.

How Much Does A Criminal Psychologist Make : Salary 

A criminal psychologist can earn a median annual salary of $94,000. However salary depends on in which state you are practicing, what experience you have and what your qualifications certifications are.
Criminal psychologists hired by federal government or non profit organization have comparatively lower salaries than those hired by local and state government and private agencies.

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2018)$37.01 hourly, $76,990 annual
Employment (2018)162,000 employees
Projected growth (2018-2028)Much faster than average (11% or higher) Much faster than average (11% or higher)
Projected job openings (2018-2028)14,600

Expected job growth

Criminal psychology is a highly competitive field. In 2017 among 166,000 psychologists, 13,000 of them were specialized psychologists in the USA. The job has high demand and job growth is expected to increase in the near future.
A starting level Criminal Psychologist with less than a years experience can expect to earn an average total salary (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $47,500 based on 6 salaries. An early career Criminal Psychologist with 1-4 years of experience get an average total salary of $51,113 based on 14 salaries. A Criminal Psychologist  with 5 to 9 years of experience may earn an average salary of $57,852 (based on 10 average salaries).
How-To-Become-A-Criminal-Psychologist-experience

Challenging Aspects Of Becoming A Criminal Psychologist:

Although the job seems very interesting and full of new experiences it can also be challenging at times.  A criminal psychologist must have a strong emotional skills and . Like pictures or footage of violent crimes. Secondly, you need to give time to this job. A criminal psychologist may deal with lot of work,  investigations and interviews. Job satisfaction is always more important. A person with interest in the inner workings of the criminal mid will surely enjoy a career in criminal psychology.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How To Become A Criminal Psychologist

Who Are Criminal Psychologists Employed By? 

Criminal psychologists are employed  by different institutions on local, federal or state level. They are hired by government while some are self employed as independent consultants. Private agencies  also hire criminal psychologist. Some criminal psychologists teach in specialized criminal training facilities or universities.

What qualifications do I need to be a criminal psychologist?

After earning a bachelor degree in psychology you can start your career as criminal psychologist. But higher degrees like Masters or PhD will help you in progressing your career as criminal psychologist. In short,  a degree in criminal psychology,  forensic psychology or clinical psychology can earn you a promising career of criminal psychologist. A state issue licensed is also required to start practice as criminal psychologist. Extra certifications also add up to your overall value as a criminal psychologist.

How many years does it take to become a criminal psychologist?

It is a lengthy process you need your Degree, Experience, A State issued Licence so you are looking around 8 To 10 Years

After earning a bachelor degree in psychology you can start your career as criminal psychologist. But higher degrees like Masters or PhD will help you in progressing your career as criminal psychologist. In short,  a degree in criminal psychology,  forensic psychology or clinical psychology can earn you a promising career of criminal psychologist. A state issue licensed is also required to start practice as criminal psychologist. Extra certifications also add up to your overall value as a criminal psychologist.

How much does a criminal psychologist make?

A criminal psychologist can earn a median annual salary of $94,000. However salary depends on in which state you are practicing, what experience you have and what your qualifications certifications are.
Criminal psychologists hired by federal government or non profit organization have comparatively lower salaries than those hired by local and state government and private agencies.

CIA AGENT SALARY  AND CAREER GUIDE 2020 

CIA-Agent-Career-And-Salary-Guide-2020

Source:

American Academy of Forensic Psychology

American Board of Forensic Psychology

American College of Forensic Psychology

 

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