Investigative psychology has numerous variations from the other specialized fields of psychology, basically because of the nature of the work of people who are employed under such profession. In a nutshell, investigative psychologists are mainly concerned about the performance of psychoanalysis on suspecting actions and criminal approaches. They are engaged in the evaluation of suspects in order to determine their mental soundness during the time that they have committed a criminal offense.
In order to be employed as an investigative psychologist, the minimum educational requirement would be taking up a master’s degree in a related field. This may take at least one year to complete. Through such education, you will have more knowledge regarding the contemporary rules of the justice system. This will also provide you with the opportunity to learn more about criminal profiling and the contributions that are made by various organizations in the investigations that are being carried out. Upon the completion of this level of education, there are employment opportunities in various fields, such as being intelligence analyst, forensic lecturer, behavioral investigative adviser, and applied researcher, among others.
If you would like to enjoy more employment opportunities, as well as if you want to have more extensive knowledge in this field, you might want to consider enrolling in a doctoral program. Some of the course works that will be completed at this level include psycholinguistics of threat, extortion and fraud, modeling sexual and violent crimes, stalking, understanding the narratives, action patterns, and offending experiences of criminals, and psychological pathways to terrorism and radicalization.
What is Investigative Psychology?
In this branch of psychology, the different psychological principles are being used in the criminal justice system. It is linked to forensic psychology and criminal psychology. The responsibility of the people who are working in such field include the treatment of suspects and witnesses from substance abuse, investigation on the patterns of violence, analysis of proofs and testimonies, and the creation of recommendations for sentencing of convicted individuals. The services of investigative psychologists are often sought by investigators because of the usefulness of their knowledge, such as in the profiling of criminals. These psychologists are able to come up with a well-evaluated criminal profile that will reveal information that can be used in a variety of purposes.
People who are working in this field makes use of the reasoning of the offenders or the criminals, and use such as the basis in coming up with a prediction of their possible actions, the locations of the offenses that were made, and behavior that serves as their signature in the offenses that they have committed.
As it has been hinted earlier, there are numerous career opportunities that can be taken into account in the field of investigative psychology. The most popular would be being employed in a variety of law enforcement agencies. More so, there are different designations that are possible, such as being a therapist, clinical psychologist, substance abuse counselor, and pediatric psychologist, mental health associate, researcher, correctional counselor, and psychologist’s assistant.
According to the projection of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, by the end of 2020, there will be more than 20,600 jobs available for psychologists. This means that you can also realize more career opportunities in investigative psychology, provided that you are equipped with the necessary requirements. At minimum, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree to work in an entry-level job.
The annual median salary for psychologists in general in 2019 was $98,230, (bls.gov).