Steps to Become a Forensic Psychologist in Illinois
Education is the key to becoming a forensic psychologist in Illinois. You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to start, but that’s just the beginning. Once you have your degree, you will still need to pursue your Master’s and your doctorate if you want to be a licensed forensic psychologist. Always chose the schools that have the respected forensic psychology programs when you are getting your degrees. It is important to make sure that you are going to accredited colleges so that the Board will recognize them.
When you are getting your doctorate, you will be able to complete the first of two years of required experience. 1,750 hours equates to one year in this regard. You will also have to do another year, or another 1,750 hours after you receive your doctorate. When you complete the required work experience, you will be able to receive the Illinois Psychologist licensure packet, which includes the application and forms that you need. You will fill it out and then send it back to the Illinois Board of Psychologist Examiners.
They will evaluate your application when you turn it in, and then you will be able to take the psychologist exam to obtain your license.
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in Illinois: Quick Reference Guide
- Earn a bachelor’s degree from a school that offers psychology programs. Majoring in forensic psychology is preferable.
- Get a master’s degree and then a PhD in forensic psychology. Some PhD programs may allow you to forego a master’s program.
- Complete the required work experience.
- Receive the Illinois Psychologist licensure packet. Fill out the contents, which includes an application, and return the packet.
- Take the psychologist examination.
Employment Trends and Career Areas for Forensic Psychologists in Illinois
Illinois is a populous state, and that means that there are going to be many opportunities for employment once you have your doctorate and your license as a forensic psychologist. You can find a number of different types of employment available with your doctorate. Perhaps you want to work for the courts and evaluate suspects before trial to make sure they are competent. You may want to work in the prison system offering mental health services to those in need.
Of course, many people who get into the field want to work in a consulting capacity with law enforcement agencies. From the state police to the local police, there is a demand for forensic psychologists that will be able to help crime scene investigators make sense of certain crimes. The behavioral analysis that forensic psychologists can offer is often quite helpful to those police officers who are on the hunt for a suspect.
Salary and Employment Facts for Illinois Forensic Psychologists
Working as a forensic psychologist is a rewarding career in many ways. You have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping people and making a difference in the world. You will also have a great salary. Forensic psychologists working in Illinois can make an average of $95,710 per year. In addition, the field is expected to grow 16% by 2024 in Illinois. Now is the time to become a forensic psychologist in Illinois.
Illinois Forensics Growing
The state of Illinois built a state-of-the-art crime lab in Belleville back in 2014. The equipment helps forensics teams with all types of analysis including DNA, fingerprint, ballistics, and drugs. Hiram Grau, the State Police Director, stated that “[t]he citizens of Illinois should take comfort in knowing that the most advanced techniques available to law enforcement to put away criminals, exonerate the innocent and secure justice for victims exist and are being performed in this new facility.” This facility, which is about 64,000 square feet, is right next to Lindenwood University.