Individuals interested in a career as a forensic psychologist have a variety of career options from which to choose. No matter the career path, forensic psychologists receive a great deal of education and training before entering the workforce. In order to be eligible for many positions, one must possess a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and/or Doctoral degree in psychology or forensic psychology. There are opportunities available to those who possess only a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree; however, to meet the educational requirements for licensure, one must have completed a doctorate program accredited by the American Medical Association and 3,000 hours of supervised work experience.
Forensic psychologists work on many different types of cases within the legal system. In criminal court cases, they conduct psychological evaluations to determine a defendant’s mental state and suitability to stand trial. They also assess how much of a risk the defendant poses to the community and whether they are likely to repeat offenses.
Family lawis another area in which forensic psychologists can specialize. Professionals in this field consult on adoption, child custody, domestic abuse, and other family law cases. Family forensic psychology, which is a combination of family psychology, forensic psychology, and law, is one of several subfields of psychology which forensic psychologists may choose to study. Whether one provides assistance or expert testimony in family, civil, or criminal court cases, it is necessary to have the requisite academic preparation to successfully fulfill the various roles and functions of a forensic psychology.
In Wisconsin, students may pursue a degree or course sequence in forensic psychology. Programs primary include courses in the psychology and criminal justice disciplines, and require the completion of supervised practicum. The practicum allows students to receive valuable clinical training, it is during this time students learn professional ethics and standards, treatment planning, and how to assess patients.
In Wisconsin, the average annual salary of a forensic psychologist is $68,000. Employment of forensic psychologists is expected to grow significantly over the next several years, with doctoral graduates being the most in demand (bls.gov).
Related: How to become a Forensic Psychologist.