How to Become a Forensic Psychologist in Pennsylvania
Education is very important, and you need access to the right programs so you can get the degrees you need to become a forensic psychologist. The first thing that you are going to need to do is get your Bachelor’s degree. Once you have the degree, you will want to look into different forensic psychology colleges that will be able to offer you a Master’s degree and your doctorate. Choose accredited schools so you can be sure that the state will recognize your education when you are trying to get your license.
Grand Canyon University - BS in Psychology: Forensic Psychology
Southern New Hampshire University - BA & MS in Forensic Psychology
Walden University - Online Forensic Psychology Programs
In addition to your doctorate, you need to have two years of supervised work experience. You can complete one of the years, or 1,500 hours, while you are receiving your doctorate. Find a good internship or psychology practicum. The remaining year will need to be complete after you receive your doctorate.
You will then have to apply for your license with the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology. They are going to review the application to make sure that you meet all of the requirements. Once you are approved, you will be able to take the Pennsylvania Law Examination as well as the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology. Passing these exams will mean that you can receive your license and start practicing in the state.
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in Pennsylvania: Quick Reference Guide
- Find an accredited school that offers bachelor’s programs in forensic psychology or psychology. Earn a bachelor’s degree.
- Complete a master’s degree program in forensic psychology. Some PhD programs do not require this step.
- Earn a PhD. During this program, you must complete one year (1500 hours) of work experience.
- Following your doctoral degree, complete another year of work experience.
- Apply for a license from the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology.
- Following approval from the board, take the EPPP and the Pennsylvania Law Examination.
Employment Trends and Career Areas for Forensic Psychologists in Pennsylvania
The employment outlook for those who are in the field is quite good. Nationwide, the expected growth rate in this field is to be as much as 10% by 2024. This is good news to anyone who is pursuing a doctorate now.
Forensic psychologists can work in many capacities. It’s possible to work with the courts and lawyers to evaluate defendants that are going to trial. Specialists will be able to work with the law enforcement agencies providing consulting and profiles to help locate suspects as well. Teaching and research positions are often available as well.
Salary and Employment Facts for Pennsylvania Forensic Psychologists
The current average annual salary for a forensic psychologist working in Pennsylvania is $94,770, which is a nice salary no matter where you may be located in the state. Those who are looking for work in Pennsylvania will likely want to start their search in the areas with higher populations, as there will probably be more jobs there.
Pennsylvania Forensic News
Forensic specialists in Pennsylvania handle many types of cases. For example, Michael Mele was on trial for the murder of Laura Garza. A number of forensic professionals were lined up to provide expert testimony on both sides of the case. Some of the specialists that were scheduled to be at the trial included Dr. Lowell Levine, a forensic dentist, Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist, and Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat, a forensic anthropologist. However, Mele pled guilty to manslaughter and received 23 years in prison.