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Are you thinking about going to college to get career training for a new job? If so, why not get your forensic psychology degree? Forensic psychologists use the principles of psychology to assist members of the criminal justice system in ensuring that perpetrators of crimes are punished appropriately. It is the job of a forensic psychologist to determine motives, assess the competency of accused persons and provide counseling to victims of crimes as well as defendants. Forensic psychologists may also serve as consultants and often provide expert testimony in court cases. For this, forensic psychologists earn a great deal of employment benefits as well as a salary that can exceed $100,000 annually. If this sounds like the career you have always wanted, start working toward your degree through an accredited college or university.
Degree needed to become a forensic psychologist
There are a variety of options available for those wishing to earn a forensic psychology degree. Students can choose to attend a large number of colleges and universities across the country. Make sure your program is accredited by one of the accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education. You can choose a program that offers everything from a certificate to a doctorate degree. You may also choose to study on a traditional brick-and-mortar campus or through an online university or college.
Most of the top careers in forensic psychology require that you hold a PhD or PsyD degree in forensic psychology. In addition, other factors including the amount you can afford to spend for tuition, financial aid opportunities, type of degree needed and schedule should be considered. By taking time to choose the best college, you can be sure that your forensic psychology degree is tailored to your needs.
Earning your forensic psychology degree
The first step is to earn your bachelor’s forensic psychology degree. This generally takes around four years of full-time study and includes the foundations for a new career. Studies for your bachelor’s degree will include general education courses as well as history, theories and general practices of psychology. Once you complete this program, you will need to be accepted to a graduate program where you can earn your master’s degree.
Your master’s program will take an additional two to three years of study and will go more in-depth into the field of forensic psychology. Before earning your master’s forensic psychology degree, you will likely have to participate in research projects and clinical practice. Once you complete this portion of training, you will need to earn your doctorate degree. If you are more interested in teaching or in research, a PhD is the best option. If, however, you are more interested in working in a clinical aspect, you will be better served with a PsyD degree. Both degrees are equally prestigious and offer similar opportunities for earnings.
Earning your doctoral forensic psychology degree is the final step required to practice as a forensic psychologist. There is one additional step you can take to increase your hiring and earning potential: become certified through the American Board of Forensic Psychology. The certification exam includes written, oral and practical portions but only the practice sample can be submitted online. This certification is not necessary for employment but can add to your credentials and give you an edge over your competition.
Once you start working, make sure to stay abreast of legal, ethical and theoretical issues and changes that affect the world of forensic psychology. You can do so by reading professional publications, interacting with professional organizations, attending conferences and taking continuing education seminars and courses. The more up to date you stay on your profession, the more valuable you will be within your career field.
When you take the steps to earn your forensic psychology degree, you are preparing to enter some of the best careers. This amazing career allows you to help make sure justice is served and that everyone involved in court cases receives the fairest treatment possible. It also allows you to have job security and excellent financial rewards. Stop dreaming of a better life and start living it with a career in forensic psychology.