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Careers in Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychology is an interesting field of study, and it is one of the most interesting areas of the forensic sciences. Psychologists working in this area will use the methodology and principles of psychology and apply them to the study of crime. Those who enter the field will usually have a degree in an area of psychology with a specialization in forensics, or they may have their master’s degree or doctorate in forensic psychology. It’s possible to find work in this area with a bachelor’s degree as well, but most of the jobs that are available will require that the candidate hold a higher-level degree.
Once you have your forensic psychology degree, you will find a number of different career paths that you will be able to follow. Getting into this area of forensics can help to launch an exciting and interesting career that will provide you with job security, interesting cases, and a real sense of accomplishment. The following are a few of the areas that you might want to consider when you receive your degree.
Working in Law Enforcement
One of the most exciting places to work as a forensic psychologist is going to be in law enforcement. You can work with local or state police departments, county offices, and even with federal law enforcement agencies. As a criminal profiler, you will be able to delve into various types of criminal cases and use your skills as a forensic psychologist to come up with a psychological profile of the criminal.
With your knowledge of the human psyche, it will be possible to use the profile to narrow down a suspect pool and help law enforcement find and catch the suspect. Perhaps the most famous of the profilers work for the FBI and help to catch serial killers. However, you don’t have to work for the FBI to catch serial killers and other violent offenders. Many smaller law enforcement agencies around the country are making use of profilers to help with cases.
Working in a Clinical Setting
You don’t have to hunt criminals with law enforcement if you are a forensic psychologist. Plenty of other great career options are available, including working in a clinical setting. You will be able to provide help and counseling to criminals with psychological problems. You will need to have your doctorate, or at least a master’s degree in clinical psychology, but you will need to have a focus on criminal behavior as well. This type of clinical work will often occur in a prison setting, but that’s not the only place where you might give treatment. In addition, you may work in a mental health center or a psychiatric hospital that houses criminals.
You could find work providing help to those who recently got out of prison and who are adjusting to live on the outside. It’s also possible to help at risk youth, or even counsel people who have been victims of crimes.
Research and Teaching
You might want to have a job that requires research, where you track the trends of crimes. By tracking crimes, you will be able to notice those trends and utilize this knowledge to help law enforcement.
Teaching is another option, and the best teachers are often going to be the ones that have some real world experience on which they can rely. Those who want to work for a school and teach other forensic psychologists will usually need to have a doctorate. Specialists can also provide clinics and seminars to help teach detectives and agents in law enforcement.
As you can see, you will have plenty of different choices when it comes to having a career after getting your degree in forensic psychology. It’s a great field with a lot of potential.