Forensic psychology offers students a wide range of career opportunities. It is a discipline of psychology and has its own professional organizations, research journals and training programs. Individuals who specialize in forensic psychology are found in the in the academic community, public service and private sector. Here is a roundup of the top five jobs you can hold within forensic psychology.
A victim advocate plays a critical role in the criminal justice system. This person works closely with victims of crime to help them navigate the complex legal process with minimal emotional distress. His duties include teaching the victim about his or her legal rights, being present during trials, offering emotional support and availing himself during law enforcement questioning. He may also help the crime victim find a suitable lawyer, assist with the complexities of paperwork, provide information on crime prevention and help with safety planning. One has to be interviewed with the relevant authorities, pass a drug test and receive an on-site job training to become a victim advocate. All victim advocates perform social and humanitarian services. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, social and human assistants earn an average salary of $30,830 per year.
Court Liaison Officer
A court liaison officer is a member of the law enforcement unit who coordinates legal proceedings and related activities. He goes through the court files and paperwork and prepares them before a hearing or trial. He shares critical information with the police department and court officers to make sure the right procedures are followed during trials. A court liaison officer also keeps the relevant departments updated on court proceedings and ensures a police officer is available to provide testimony when necessary. Court liaisons earn an average salary of $35,460 per year.
A probation officer helps to rehabilitate criminals. He monitors and enforces the court orders to ensure an individual who has been released from prison develops good behaviors and gets adequate housing. It is the responsibility of a probation officer to bring an offender who does not comply with the probation guidelines to the court. A probation officer may also refer people to therapeutic and rehabilitative specialty programs if necessary. The knowledge of criminal justice and psychology can be extremely useful in dealing with the potentially volatile situations the officer may encounter. Probation officers earn an average salary of $52,110 per year.
Law Enforcement Officer
People with degrees in forensic psychology are better placed to become law enforcement officers. A law enforcement officer is mandated by the federal and state government to serve and protect the community. He helps in times of crisis and emergency, such as natural disasters and accidents. He investigates crimes by evaluating the scene of the incident and collecting samples. A law enforcement officer may also help with the cyber crime analysis and preventing crimes of terrorism, spying and fraud. Law enforcement officers earn an average salary of $61,600.
A forensic psychologist applies the principles of psychology in the criminal justice process. This involves assessing the criminal’s mental status at the time of the offense, evaluating the ability of the individual to stand trial, assessing the credibility of the witnesses and evaluating the risk of re-offending. A forensic psychologist may also design correctional programs, offer emotional support to crime victims and prepare testimonies in court. Forensic psychologists earn an average salary of $64,140 per year. Some individuals earn up to $106,840.
The increasing rate of litigation and court trials is a promising factor for those who want to work in the justice system. As a forensic psychologist, you stand a high chance of specializing in a wide range of jobs and developing yourself in the justice department.
Related resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Forensic Psychology 2017