Forensic psychology deals with the use of psychological methodology in the fields of law and criminal justice. Forensic psychologists evaluate and counsel criminals, substance abusers and victims of crime. Maine isn’t a fertile region for the application of forensic psychology for two main reasons: (1) Maine’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, wood products, textiles, ship-building and recreation, and (2) Maine has a low population with a higher-than-normal percentage of independent-minded people who want little to do with governmental agencies. But forensic psychology is a booming industry, so the opportunities for employment in Maine will probably grow somewhat.
Forensic Psychology Coursework
The University of Maine is the largest university in the state, but has fewer than 12,000 students. But even so, it offers an excellent doctoral clinical psychology department, while also offering an undergraduate minor in legal studies. Other schools in Maine offer programs in psychology, criminology, law and criminal justice, the principal programs needed for forensic psychologists.
A minor in law is important for students who plan to work in the court system, while criminal justice or criminology minors are good for those who plan to work for a law enforcement agency.
The most common avenues for securing jobs in forensic psychology are through agencies of law enforcement, courtrooms, substance abuse clinics, schools, research institutes and mental health organizations.
Common positions include expert witnesses in court, evaluators and counselors of criminals and victims of crime, polygraph analysts, and substance abuse counselors. Most of these positions require a master’s degree or PhD in psychology and a minor or bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or criminology. Most professionals in this field specialize in one area; for example, a pediatric forensic psychologist specializes in evaluating and counseling juveniles, whether they’re criminals, victims of crimes or substance abusers.
Figures from SalaryBox.com show that the minimum salary for a Maine forensic psychologist is $22, 890 and the maximum is $106,360. The average salary is $74,580.
Related Reading: Psychology Careers in Maine.