Forensic Psychology in Colorado
All areas of forensic science are interesting, as evidenced by the popularity of television shows, movies, and books that involve forensic scientists and forensic psychologists. While the glitz and glam of the entertainment world often sugarcoats the reality of the hard work and long hours that go into forensics, it’s true that the career of a forensic psychologist is an interesting one. Joining the ranks of this profession in Colorado can be a great career choice for anyone who has an interest in psychology. It’s a great specialization, and these psychologists are able to make a difference in cases. However, you have to make sure you have the right schooling and degrees if you are going to become a forensic psychologist.
Steps to Become a Forensic Psychologist in Colorado
The path to this career begins with a good education at the right colleges. You will need to start by obtaining your Bachelor’s degree through an accredited school, but that’s just the beginning. Having a bachelor’s in psychology will only give you access to certain types of jobs, and you will not be an actual forensic psychologist. To do that, you are going to need to obtain your Master’s degree and doctorate from quality schools. When you choose your Master’s or doctoral program, you will be able to narrow your focus and concentrate on programs that will lead you into the forensics field. When you finish with your degree, you will still have to have at least one year of full-time supervised experience. In addition, you will need to have the work approved by the State Board of Psychologist Examiners before you begin the practical experience. Finally, you are going to have to apply for the Colorado Psychologist licensure exam. In January of 2007, the state began requiring an Affidavit of Eligibility form in addition to the application.
After approval of the application, you will be able to take the exam for your license. They hold these exams twice per year, and they cover a number of subjects including ethics, clinical and counseling psychology, and general psychology. Once you have your license, you will be able to start looking for jobs in the forensics field, such as with law enforcement.
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in Colorado: Quick Reference Guide
- Get a bachelor’s degree in psychology or forensic psychology.
- Earn a master’s degree. Some forensic psychology doctoral programs do not require this step.
- Attend a doctoral program. Receive your PhD.
- Complete one year of full-time supervised professional experience. This must be approved by the State Board of Psychologist Examiners.
- Submit an Affidavit of Eligibility along with the application for the Colorado Psychologist licensure exam.
- Take the examination once your application is approved.
Employment Trends and Career Areas for Forensic Psychologists in Colorado
Those who graduate these programs with their doctorate and advanced degrees will find a host of different employment options. One of the most popular options is to work as a consultant for law enforcement. Determining behavioral patterns of suspects can help police narrow their suspect pool. Of course, law enforcement is just one option. You will also find jobs working in counseling in the prison system, working for the courts and lawyers, working as an expert witness, teaching, and more.
Salary and Employment Facts for Colorado Forensic Psychologists
Forensic psychology is a growing field, and there is more of a need for these specialists today than there was just a few years ago. Many estimate that the need for forensic psychologists could increase by as much as 15% by 2016. This means thousands more jobs available, many of them in Colorado. The current average salary for a forensic psychologist working in Colorado is $74,000. Of course, this can vary based on location in the state and the type of work you are doing.
Colorado Forensic Psychology in the News
The forensic sciences play a huge role in large and small law enforcement agencies today. Because of the importance of forensics, many departments are even sending their officers to train with the FBI. A recent example was Canon City Police Captain Allen Cooper, who was able to go to an intensive 11-week training session with the FBI in Quantico. During his visit and training, he was even able to take a tour of the famous FBI Forensics Lab, which has some of the most state of the art equipment in the world, as well as some of the top forensics specialists.