Steps to Become a Forensic Psychologist in Alaska
The first step in becoming a forensic psychologist is to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Those who choose to follow the path of the forensic psychologist will not want to stop there though. While it might be possible to get jobs as an assistant or researcher when you have your Bachelor’s degree, if you want to get into the field and work for law enforcement as a professional psychologist, you are going to need to have a Master’s degree or a doctorate. Advanced degrees will provide you with more options for employment, as well as higher salaries.
To become a forensic psychologist in Alaska, you need to be a licensed psychologist. Once you have your doctorate from an accredited college, you will be able to request a temporary license from the Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners. When you apply for the temporary license, you will have to submit proof of your degree as well as a plan for obtaining experience under supervision. You have to have this temporary license before you are able to start your post doctoral work.
The temporary license is valid for two years. During that time, you will have to complete 1500 hours of supervised experience. You will also have to have one hour each week of individual supervision with a patient or client. It is always a good idea to check on the latest regulations before you embark on this journey to make sure you know any new requirements that might be included.
You will then be able to take the exams for licensure and complete the application to become a licensed psychologist in Alaska. Those who are in Alaska will also need to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, or the EPPP, as well as a State Law and Ethics examination. Once you complete these programs, you will be a licensed psychologist and will be able to pursue your specialty of forensic psychology.
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in Alaska: Quick Reference Guide
- Earn your bachelor’s degree in psychology or forensic psychology.
- Earn your master’s degree (optional, may skip and go to step #3).
- Earn a doctorate degree in forensic psychology.
- Request temporary license from the state board.
- Complete 1500 hours of supervised experience and one supervised hour per week with patient or client.
- Take exams for licensure and complete application.
- Pass the EPPP and State Law and Ethics examination.
Employment Trends and Career Areas for Forensic Psychologists in Alaska
Those who have degrees in forensic psychology and who are looking for a career will have a number of options. It will be possible to work with the Alaska Department of Corrections, local and state law enforcement, the court systems, and for private law firms. Teaching positions at schools and instructional jobs may be available as well.
Salary and Employment Facts for Alaska Forensic Psychologists
Because Alaska is a smaller state in terms of population, there are fewer forensic psychologists living and working there than there are in other areas. The current salary for a forensic psychologist living in Alaska averages about $96,350 per year, which is a very good living.
Newsworthy Items in Alaska Forensic Psychology
Forensic psychologists working in Alaska can work with all types of cases, and they can consult on all manner of different crimes. David Sperbeck, former director of mental health and forensic psychologist for the Alaska Department of Corrections, has been in the news quite a bit over the past couple of decades. He was instrumental in a program called Jail Alternative Services, which gave criminals with mental illnesses the help they need.