Interested in knowing How to become a criminal psychologist? worry not this article is the perfect fit for you.
Psychology is one field of study with one the highest multi-specialties. Psychology is applied in everyday life.
It deals with behaviors, personalities, and the full mental state of an individual. In our content today, we shall be focusing on Criminal Psychology. Like we said earlier, psychology affects all aspects of our lives.
Criminal psychology is the application of psychology in dealing with crimes.
We shall be discussing how to become a criminal psychologist, criminal psychology salary, criminal psychology degree, criminal psychology jobs, and many other areas that deal with psychology.
Individuals that are obsessed with the logic behind crime investigations and reading criminal minds will fit in well with this profession.
1 What is Criminal Psychology?
1.1 How to Become a Criminal Psychologist
What is Criminal Psychology?
Criminal Psychology is a niche in psychology applied by experts while trying to solve criminal investigations.
The knowledge of criminal psychology is used in profiling criminals, determining the mental state of criminals in court, and also questioning the rationale behind certain crimes.
It involves lots of mind reading and analysis. Psychologists study the thought of the criminal and his behavior and also engage directly with him or her in order to deduce answers to some questions about a crime.
How to Become a Criminal Psychologist
Reading criminal minds and getting to the root of criminal investigation requires a lot of training and skills to attain.
Becoming a criminal psychologist comprises of defined steps and stages in which it would be hard to get to the other if you skip the first.
Steps involved on How to become a criminal psychologist
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree: Intending criminal psychologists start off with a Bachelor’s Degree. This is where they are introduced to the general components and the basics of psychology.
They are tutored in the general psychological studies comprising of Forensics, Analytics, Clinical, and Behavioral Psychology.
It takes an average of 4 years to finish, after which a B.sc certificate will be issued to the student. A B.sc in psychology is not enough to certify one as a criminal psychologist. You will need advanced degrees and certificates to become certified.
Earn a Masters’ Degree: This is where the student is introduced to the core components of criminal psychology. It is characterized by experiments, clinical trials, intense studies, and research. It takes an average of 2 years to complete.
In some countries, A master’s degree is enough to get you certified in criminal psychology while others will require a doctorate and post-doctoral certificates. It all comes down to the laws and legislation of your state of residence.
Doctorate Degree: You can either be issued a Doctor of Philosophy, or a Doctor of Psychology. A doctoral degree takes an average of 5 years to finish. You can decide to major mostly in the theoretical approach or practical approach towards criminal psychology practice. Here the students are immersed in core forensic and criminal psychological studies.
Students at this level can also be gainfully employed as psychologists but will practice under the tutelage of a certified professional pending when they finish their studies and gain hands-on experience.
How to Obtain a Criminal Psychologist License: If you have successfully completed the educational levels above, the next step is to obtain a license to start practicing. This is usually the final phase for those searching for how to become a criminal psychologist.
In some countries, you must have obtained over 1,000 hours of postdoctoral experience or training in addition to 100 hours of specialized forensic psychology training before you can be licensed to practice.
Evaluation exams are set up by regulatory bodies for intending psychologists then issue licenses and certificates to successful candidates.
Criminal Psychology Skills
To excel in the field of criminal psychology, you need more than just degree certificates. You need to imbibe certain core skills and traits. Without these criminal psychology skills, it might be very hard for your career in criminal psychology to take off.
Core understanding of the judicial and legal system.
Sound communication skills.
Ability to view issues objectively, free of sentiments and attachments.
You will witness gruesome crime scenes. Therefore it is important you form strong control of yourself.
Sound analytical skill especially while reading the behaviors and hearing the narrations of criminals and suspects.
Must be good in examining crime pieces of evidence and drawing empirical conclusions from it.
Strong sense of logic and ethics.
Criminal Psychology Salary
Data obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that criminal psychologists earn an average of $89,644 annually while the highly experienced ones especially those working for the government as consultants earn over $102,667 salary annually.
These figures are subject to a lot of things that border on the certificate, degree, experience, etc.
Criminal Psychology Degree
Similar to other specialties in Psychology, before you can be licensed to practice criminal psychology you must have all the required essential degrees and certificates.
The core areas featured in criminal degrees are listed below;
Biology: Students get to learn everything from genetics to the influence of life span on behaviors Core aspects of biology as it relates to human behavior are discussed.
Psychology: Everything pertaining to the mental build-up of an individual is discussed here. It throws light into how patterns of behaviors are formed and how they influence growth. They also get to know more about life experiences and how it affects the psychological build-up of an individual.
Sociology: Sociology is a core component of criminal psychology degrees. It exposes how society views crime and the general of people on certain life events. It is basically how the individual interacts with society at large.
Criminology: The degree is not complete if you have not gained a sound knowledge of criminology. Students are taught the theories of criminal acts from different angles and how the justice system deals with such.
The Legal System: If you don’t understand the legal system it will be extremely hard to practice criminal psychology. Students are introduced to the relationship between criminology and the legal system. The criminal justice, law enforcement methods, trial methods, among many other core areas in the legal system.
Criminal Psychology Jobs
Entry-level positions are reserved or fresh graduates, who are employed in hospitals, courtrooms, police departments, and other internship positions.
They can also work in the FBI, Tobacco firms, the Judicial authorities, business organizations or can be consultants.
Criminal Psychologists can fit in as Educational researchers, Trial consultants, Crime scene investigators, Forensic experts, etc.
Conclusion on how to become a criminal psychology
Criminal psychology is so vast that you can fit in anywhere, provided you have the necessary skills needed to excel in the field. With a background in psychology, you can be gainfully employed with a B.sc.
Ensure you look up the legislation and authority requirements concerning how to become criminal psychology in your state of residence before proceeding to become criminal psychology.
FAQs ( Frequently Asked Questions)
What does a criminal Psychologist do? They read the minds of criminals and develop a psychological way of getting them to admit to the crime or apprehend them.
Is it hard to get a criminal job in Psychology? If you have proven skills with recommendations from previous clients or workplaces, getting a criminal psychology job wouldn’t be too hard.
Is Criminal Psychology stressful? As exciting as the adventures of criminal psychology may sound, it can actually be stressful especially during the long hours in courtrooms, profiling of criminals, question and answer sessions with criminals, forensic analysis, etc.