Forensic Psychologist Job Description

Forensic psychologists take on a unique role in the criminal justice system. They do not collect evidence and test it for a court trial. They analyze people’s minds to determine if they are telling the truth. A forensic psychologist must use his or her knowledge of psychology and criminal justice to counsel prison inmates, detect possible abuse, and determine witness credibility. If that work sounds like it is right up your alley, you may want to consider a job as a forensic psychologist. Here is a forensic psychologist job description to help you assess this career’s appropriateness for your lifestyle.

The Work of a Forensic Psychologist

The day to day life of a forensic psychologist is ever-changing. One minute he or she may be working on a huge murder case, and another he or she may be working with a couple that just got a divorce. Forensic psychologists are clinical psychologists at the core, and their work reflects that. You can see that in the information below.

Job Duties

Here is a list of potential job duties you may have as a forensic psychologist:

  • Evaluate parental rights cases
  • Counsel divorced couples
  • Train violent offenders
  • Determine visitation risks
  • Counsel families
  • Analyze sex offenders
  • Evaluate child custody cases
  • Counsel probationers
  • Assess child witness credibility
  • Counsel crime victims
  • Detect potential child abuse

Similar Jobs

Here is a list of jobs that are related to forensic psychology:

  • Forensic analysts
  • Police officers
  • Parole officers
  • Criminal psychologists
  • Criminalists
  • Criminologists
  • Probation offices
  • Clinical psychologists

Places of Employment for Forensic Psychologists

Forensic psychologists can work in an array of industries, businesses, and locations, making them very versatile employees. If you are considering this profession for the future, you should be pleased to know that you will be able to find work just about anywhere. The demand for forensic psychologists is high at the moment, though it is not always consistent. That is why most forensic psychologists will work in clinics during their off time to make up the income they might be losing. The lists below provide an overall view of where you may work if you become a forensic psychologist.


Here is a list of potential employers you may work under:

  • Companies
  • Law enforcement offices
  • Law firms
  • Secure correctional facilities
  • Non-profit organization
  • Self-employed
  • Hospitals
  • Court houses
  • Government offices
  • Private practice


Here is a list of industries you may find work in:

  • Government
  • Law enforcement
  • Community mental health
  • Healthcare
  • Clinical psychology

Educational Requirements for Forensic Psychologists

To become a forensic psychologist, you will need to get an extensive college education. Most forensic psychologists spend more than a decade in school to start their jobs, but they love what they learn about along the way. If the forensic psychologist job description above has gotten you truly excited about this career, you may actually want to embark on this educational adventure. The information below should help you do that.


Here is a list of degrees you may go through on your way to becoming a forensic psychologist:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice
  • Doctorate of Forensic Psychology
  • Doctorate of Psychology
  • Juris Doctorate
  • Master of Psychology
  • Master of Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Social Work
  • Master of Forensic Psychology

Pay Rates for Forensic Psychologists

Since forensic psychologists have to spend a ton of time in school, you would assume they would make a ton of money. They do in comparison to a lot of other criminal justice careers, but they still make less than some people are comfortable with. If you are going to get involved with this career, you need to know if it is going to pay enough for you in the end. The charts below should help you see what your pay may be like under different circumstances.

Salary by Experience

Here is a list of salaries based on employee experience:

  • Less than 1 year of experience: $36,000 – $70,000 per year
  • 1-4 years of experience: $31,123 – $88,569 per year
  • 5-9 years of experience: $33,840 – $102,824 per year
  • 10-19 years of experience: $29,900 – $242,395 per year
  • 20+ years of experience: $50,335 – $248,323 per year

Salary with Benefits

Here is a list of salaries including company benefits:

  • Education Reimbursement: $35,235 – $146,565 per year
  • 401(k): $36,259 – $105,231 per year
  • Paid Sick Leave: $45,174 – $104,214 per year
  • Flexible Schedule: $49,316 – $247,465 per year
  • Malpractice or Liability Insurance: $45,000 – $122,528 per year
  • Life Insurance or Disability: $44,685 – $103,498 per year
  • Paid Holidays or Vacations: $40,695 – $104,581 per year

Use this forensic psychologist job description to figure out where you want to go in life. If you think forensic psychology is the right path for you, you might as well get started on your education today. Several years down the road, you will be changing criminal justice as we know it.

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