Steps to Become a Forensic Psychologist in Virginia
The first thing that you have to do is earn your Bachelor’s degree in psychology. You will find that you can get some types of work with your Bachelor’s degree, often in a support role, or perhaps in researching. However, you will not be a full forensic psychologist. To become a forensic psychologist, you are going to need to have your Master’s degree and doctorate. When you search for colleges with these programs, look for those that might have a focus on the forensic aspect of psychology.
Grand Canyon University - BS in Psychology: Forensic Psychology
Southern New Hampshire University - BA & MS in Forensic Psychology
Walden University - Online Forensic Psychology Programs
You will want to do an internship while you are getting your doctorate, and you should try to find something that’s in forensic psychology. You will also need to have 1,500 hours of supervised work experience. You will then be able to apply for licensure. Submit the application to the Virginia Board of Psychology so that they may review it.
The Board will review the application and when they approve it, you will be able to take the EPPP, the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology. In addition, you are going to have to take the state jurisprudence exam. They will send the jurisprudence exam to you in the mail, and you can complete it and then send it back to the Board. When they have the information they need and you pass the exams, you will be able to get your license so you can practice in the state.
Steps to Becoming a Forensic Psychologist in Virginia: 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 of work experience.
- Following your doctoral degree, complete 1500 hours of work experience.
- Apply for a license from the Virginia Board of Psychology.
- Following approval from the board, take the EPPP and the jurisprudence exam.
Employment Trends and Career Areas for Forensic Psychologists in Virginia
Forensic psychologists are able to work in many different areas. Some might want to work with the court system, and others may want to work in hospitals that house the criminally insane. Others may choose a role as a researcher or a teacher. Working with law enforcement and developing profiles and behavioral analysis is also a great option. The outlook for this career is good, with a high need for these specialists.
Salary and Employment Facts for Virginia Forensic Psychologists
Forensic psychologists in Virginia make a great living. The average salary for the profession in the state is $95,710 per year. Also, the Department of Labor expects the field to grow 10% by 2024.
Virginia Forensic Psychology in the News
While forensic psychology can go a long way in helping the police and the victims of a crime, sometimes a little something extra might be needed. Some victims and witnesses, especially children, come to the courts traumatized and in need of help. They might not be willing or confident enough to be a witness in a trial. Forensic psychologists can help, but they might not be enough in all cases.
Enter Abby the German shepherd. The dog is a great way for child victims to become more at ease, and the dog has already helped in cases. In the case of a 7-year-old abused girl who was afraid to testify, the confidence that the dog provided was enough to get the girl to testify over closed circuit television. Her testimony put her attacker away for eight years. Sometimes it takes more than good science in a criminal case. Sometimes it takes man’s best friend. More and more forensics interviewers are starting to use dogs.