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Become a Forensic Psychologist in Georgia
When you decide that you want to become a forensic psychologist, you will want to make sure that you do well in your studies. It’s not an easy field unless you truly enjoy the subject and are willing to work hard. First, you need to have your Bachelor’s degree. Some people only choose to get their Bachelor’s degree in psychology and then find work in some type of support capacity. Those who want to become actual forensic psychologists are going to need higher degrees. You will need to complete your Master’s degree and your doctorate through approved colleges. During the last year of your doctorate, you will have to enter an internship that meets the standards of the Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists or the American Psychological Association.
After completing the degree and the internship, you will have to start working toward 1,500 hours of supervised experience. The requirements for getting a license in the state are that you have to have this experience within a one to two year period. You have to have at least 500 hours of direct contact with patients, and you have to have a supervisor present for all of those 1,500 hours.
After completing the work requirements, you will be able to apply for your license through the Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. They evaluate the application, and once they approve it, you will be able to take your EPPP, or Examination for Practice in Psychology. Upon passing this test, you will be able to receive your license as a psychologist, and then you will be able to being your employment search for a job in the forensics field.
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in Georgia: Quick Reference Guide
- Find an accredited college that offers psychology or forensic psychology programs and earn a bachelor’s degree.
- Earn a master’s degree and doctoral degree. Some PhD programs do not require a master’s degree.
- Complete an approved internship that starts during the final year of your PhD program.
- Gain 1500 hours of supervised experience in two years or less.
- Apply for licensure through the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
- Take and pass the EPPP.
Employment Trends and Career Areas for Forensic Psychologists in Georgia
Georgia is a great state for those who want to become forensic psychologists. It offers a number of large cities, and this means that the employment opportunities are often going to be greater. Those who enter into the field and become forensic psychologists in Georgia will have many different types of career paths to follow.
Working directly with law enforcement and looking at crime scenes and behavioral patterns is one option. This will let the psychologist help the crime scene investigators and police have a better understanding of the criminal mind that committed the act, and that can lead to a faster arrest of suspects in some cases. Another capacity for those in the field is to work directly with the courts or the correctional facilities.
Salary and Employment Facts for Georgia Forensic Psychologists
Forensic psychologists working in Georgia can make a substantial amount of money. The average annual salary for a forensic psychologist in the state is $84,730 per year, which is quite a bit higher than many other states. Of course, the actual salary is going to depend on what role you have and where you are employed.
Georgia Forensics in the News
Forensic psychology is just one of the many different forensic disciplines that can help law enforcement today. In Buford, GA, recently a Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic artist was able to reconstruct the features of a man’s face based on recovered skeletal remains. They hope that the reconstruction will help to identify the victim.