Forensic Psychology Jobs Overview
One of the most important occupations within the criminal justice system, the role of a forensic psychologist is to apply psychology theory to the behaviour of offenders, in order to better understand their actions. Although more emotionally demanding than some clinical psychologist jobs, it is also extremely rewarding. Jobs in forensic psychology may involve helping police with criminal profiling, providing treatment for offenders with a view towards rehabilitation, and carrying out research to improve professional understanding and develop more effective treatments. Forensic psychologists may also assess re-offending risks and provide evidence in criminal trials.
Forensic Psychology Jobs Education Requirements
Applicants for forensic psychology jobs will be expected to have a Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), which is earned through the completion of a British Psychological Society accredited undergraduate course in Psychology, or a BPS accredited conversion course. In addition, employers will almost always demand either:
- a BPS accredited master's degree in Forensic Psychology, or
- a BPS accredited Doctorate in Forensic Psychology.
Following the completion of postgraduate study, applicants with a Masters will need to complete a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)-approved programme of training. This can usually be achieved while working as a trainee forensic psychologist. Previous experience working in a psychology setting, such as in assistant psychology jobs, will also be beneficial.
Forensic Psychology Jobs Market
In the United Kingdom, jobs in forensic psychology are primarily offered by HM Prison Service, but other employers include the National Health Service, private hospitals, probation services, academic institutions, research institutions and the police. The APA state that forensic psychology jobs have increased significantly in recent decades and demand is still outstripping supply, meaning the long-term prospects are good.
Forensic Psychology Jobs Salary Information
According to HM Prison Service, trainee forensic psychologists can expect to earn a minimum salary of £24,000, rising up to £27,000. Fully-qualified and registered forensic psychologists may earn between £32,000 and £40,000, while senior registered psychologists can be paid in excess of £45,000 per annum. Figures provided by the National Health Service are similar, while salaries may be significantly higher in some private healthcare organisations.