Forensic Psychology in West Virginia
Becoming a forensic psychologist can be one of the best decisions you make in your life. If you have an interest in forensics and you are planning to pursue a career in psychology, you might want to consider forensic psychology as a specialty. The career promises to be interesting and to bring you close to many different types of cases that you might not see if you are practicing general psychology. You will be able to explore the criminal mind, learn the things that make criminals commit offenses, and learn how to profile and analyze behaviors. It’s a great career for certain, but it will take a lot of dedication and forensic psychology education at quality colleges.
Steps to Become a Forensic Psychologist in West Virginia
As mentioned, you need to have a good education at the best schools. The first thing that you are going to need to do is to get your Bachelor’s degree in psychology. This will give you a good foundation, but it will not be the end of your journey if you want to be a licensed psychologist in the state of West Virginia. With your Bachelor’s degree, you will be able to find some work in research or support roles, but you will not have a license that lets you practice as a psychologist. You still need to have advanced degrees, such as a Master’s and a doctorate.
If you’ve earned your Master’s degree, you will need to have at least five years of supervised work experience before you can apply for a license. If you have your doctorate, you will need only two years of work experience. You will be able to do an internship, which will count for one of the years of work experience you need.
When you have your work experience completed, you will then be able to request an application for your license in West Virginia. You can return your application to the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists. They will evaluate and review your application and then let you know in writing when you are able to take the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology, or EPPP. The EPPP is a national test that all psychologists have to take for their license. In West Virginia, you will also have to take the state administered oral exam. When you pass the exams, you will be able to receive your license.
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in West Virginia: Quick Reference Guide
- Start your forensic psychology education by earning your bachelor’s degree.
- Pursue a master’s degree. Some doctoral programs do not require this step.
- Attend a doctoral program and earn a PhD in forensic psychology.
- Complete two years of work experience.
- Apply for a license through the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
- Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in order to qualify for a formal oral examination.
Employment Trends and Career Areas for Forensic Psychologists in West Virginia
The job market is going to look great for forensic psychologists in the upcoming years. Many believe that the need for these specialists is going to increase by about 15% nationwide by 2016.
Those who go into the career will be able to find many different career paths to follow. They can work with law enforcement, or work with the court system, the corrections system, and more. Some choose to go into research, and others would rather teach to students and even law enforcement.
Salary and Employment Facts for West Virginia Forensic Psychologists
Forensic psychologists in West Virginia will find that they can make a very good living working in the state. The average salary for a forensic psychologist in the area is $85,000 per year.
West Virginia Forensics in the News
Recently, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin took a trip to West Virginia to get a firsthand look at the Marshall University Forensic Science Center. The Center is providing law enforcement in the state with the tools and technology that they need to help them solve crimes and put the right criminals in jail. The facility is state of the art, and it features many different types of forensic specialists that are able to help law enforcement. They even have a highly advances digital forensics lab.