11 Forensic Psychologist Careers (With Salaries and Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 13, 2022

Published May 19, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A forensic psychology career focuses on learning about criminals' behaviours and thought patterns. This research can help to improve the criminal justice system and people's understanding of criminals. If you have a degree in forensic psychology, there are numerous career paths that you can follow that are interesting and exciting.

In this article, we examine what a forensic psychologist is and review some popular forensic psychologist careers.

Related: Jobs You Can Do With a Psychology Degree

What is a forensic psychologist?

A forensic psychologist applies the techniques of psychology to understand and help criminals. They interact with many different levels of the criminal justice system, from the criminals themselves to lawyers and judges. The courts consider a forensic psychologist an expert witness and can ask them to testify. They can conduct investigations, assessments, research studies, and even create treatment plans for their patients. To become a forensic psychologist, you may be required to:

  • Obtain a master's degree or doctorate: Educational requirements vary depending on the province or territory, so it's important to check with your governing body for psychologists. You can find a list of all the governing bodies in the Government of Canada job bank.

  • Complete supervised practical experience: This is a requirement in most provinces and territories and means that you're working in your field while being supervised by a more experienced psychologist.

  • Complete written and oral exams: You may be required to complete a written exam called the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). You may also be required to complete oral examinations in some provinces or territories.

  • Specialize in forensic psychology: After becoming a psychologist, you can specialize in your preferred field through additional training, education, and practical experience.

A forensic psychologist can work in many different fields, from clinical to education. If you like working with patients, you can work in correctional facilities, with victims, or in your own clinic. You can also be an educator and pass on your experience and knowledge. Finding the path that suits you best can help set you up for a long and fulfilling career.

Forensic psychologist careers

Listed below are some forensic psychologist careers that you can pursue:

1. Forensic science technician

National average salary: $73,944 per year

Primary duties: A forensic science technician attends crime scenes and collects evidence and samples essential to solving a crime. This position requires specialized knowledge of forensic procedures and practices. It is necessary because they're typically the first link in the chain of evidence that can help convict a criminal. Forensic science techs can also help analyze evidence and prepare reports for other law enforcement agencies and in court.

2. Victim advocate

National average salary: $23.66 per hour

Primary duties: A victim advocate works to support victims of crimes and offers them resources and help. They listen to victims, help them understand and manage their emotions, and help guide them through the complicated legal process. The main goal of a victim advocate is to create a safe and reassuring space for someone to talk about their trauma and learn to cope with the experience.

3. Professor

National average salary: $99,299 per year

Primary duties: A forensic psychologist can become a professor of psychology or be even more specific and teach directly about forensic psychology. Educating students is a great way to pass on your experience and help someone achieve their career goals. The primary duties can be preparing lectures, administering and grading tests and assignments, and encouraging students.

Related: How to Become a Professor in Canada (With Steps)

4. Clinical counsellor

National average salary: $37.96 per hour

Primary duties: A clinical counsellor strives to help people understand and cope with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. They offer their patients insights, treatment options, and support and can hold either one-on-one or group scheduled counselling meetings. A counsellor can help someone build a support network and begin the path to recovery or better understand how to care for their mental health.

5. Consultant

National average salary: $26.16 per hour

Primary duties: A forensic psychologist can consult with many different organizations within the criminal justice system. Many agencies consider them experts and value their opinions and research. Law enforcement, correctional facilities, and law firms may seek a forensic psychologist for consultation. They may expect you to conduct research, analyze your findings, and present them with your professional recommendation. These recommendations can help many agencies make decisions regarding a case or a patient.

Related: How to Become an Independent Consultant (With Tips)

6. Correctional officer

National average salary: $58,497 per year

Primary duties: A correctional officer works inside a correctional facility to help maintain the safety of the inmates and the security of the facility. Their job involves enforcing rules, inspecting inmates' rooms for contraband, providing support and protection for any visitors or clinicians in the facility, and maintaining an orderly atmosphere. This can be a very stressful job, but it can be rewarding if you are the type of person who enjoys higher-stress environments and can keep calm in intense situations.

7. Forensic researcher

National average salary: $25.70 per hour

Primary duties: A forensic researcher creates studies to help further the understanding of criminal behaviour. They analyze their results, present their findings, and try to discover new treatment techniques. They also work to help understand criminal behaviour and why people commit crimes. A researcher works hard to advance the knowledge of the field and develop new techniques that can benefit everyone working in the criminal justice system.

Related: 12 Popular Forensic Science Jobs (With Average Salaries)

8. Clinical psychologist

National average salary: $56.11 per hour

Primary duties: Clinical psychologists work alongside their patients to diagnose behavioural problems or mental illnesses. After diagnosis, they develop a treatment plan and support their patient as they work on treatment. They can administer tests, conduct research, provide therapy, and assist patients' families with coping and understanding what is happening. A clinical psychologist is responsible for providing a safe and comfortable place for people to receive help.

9. Social worker

National average salary: $34.32 per hour

Primary duties: Social workers can help families and individuals when unforeseen circumstances affect their lives. They can help with child custody, divorce proceedings, abuse cases, and other family disputes. A social worker can offer support and resources to help people through these difficult times and act as expert witnesses in cases of child custody or mistreatment. Social workers are essential in keeping the vulnerable sectors of society safe and helping families struggling with problems.

10. Probation officer

National average salary: $79,199 per year

Primary duties: A probation officer supervises people who have committed crimes and are on parole. They can help determine if someone is eligible for parole and can appear in court if required.

Along with supervision, probation officers are a critical point of contact for parolees. They can offer support and help people who are genuinely looking to change their ways and can assist with finding places to live and getting a job. A probation officer can be a significant person in a parolee's life and can work to make changes for them.

11. Crime analyst

National average salary: $87,228 per year

Primary duties: A crime analyst looks for trends and patterns that may appear in all aspects of the criminal justice system. They can conduct interviews with law enforcement officers and examine evidence to help determine emerging trends. They can also use statistics and previous crime reports to support their studies. These reports can help understand and predict crimes and assist law enforcement in allocating their resources. They put all their findings into detailed reports used to help prevent recurring crimes.

Related: How to Become a Forensic Medical Examiner (With Steps)

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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