Forensic Psychologist Salary

The average salary of forensic psychologist in US is $68,000.

Forensic psychology is a growing field. A specialization in the psychology field, these professionals will help law enforcement narrow down suspects or even create a profile on a suspect for a particular crime. Experts in the field, a forensic psychologist may work as an expert witness, a correctional psychologist, or an evaluator for the authorities.

Median forensic psychologist salary

  • $68,900 per year
  • $33.12 per hour

Median salary for a forensic psychologist is $68,900 annually or $33.12 per hour. The median is found by analyzing the mid-point of a set of data containing salary information in this particular field.

Salary range for middle 50% of forensic psychologist

  • $51,980 – $89,830
  • $25 – $43.20 per hour

Middle 50% is derived by removing the bottom and top 25% of earners to find a clear picture of a salary. The middle 50% of forensic psychologists earn $51,980 to $89,830 per year. Hourly, these salaries come out to $25 an hour to $43.20 an hour on average.

Lowest and highest salary

  • Lowest – $40,080 ($19.27/hour)
  • Highest – $113,640 ($54.64/hour)

The lowest 10th percentile of psychologists in this specialization earn $19.27 an hour, or $40,080 annually. The top 10th percentile earn $113,640 per year, or $54.64 an hour.

The total salary package

Salary data does not include other factors that make up a total salary package. Factors such as pension and healthcare as well as bonuses are not calculated into an average salary. Using the median salary of $68,900, the total salary package for this field is $104,000 a year.

Cities with the highest paid forensic psychology professionals

  • Cedar Falls, Iowa pays a mean salary of $116,470
  • Corcoran, California pays a mean salary of $109,900
  • Paso Robles, California pays a mean salary of $105,780
  • Fairfield, California pays a mean salary of $102,960

States with the highest paid psychology professionals

  • Rhode Island at $94,590
  • Hawaii at $87,620
  • Connecticut at $86,120
  • New Jersey at $85,670
  • Alabama at $85,440

Factors affecting forensic psychology salaries

Forensic psychology is a specialization that is often earned through years of experience. These professionals are deemed experts in the field, so they often start at a respectable salary that is higher than the mean salary.

Many of these psychologists will work directly with the authorities to help with high-profile crimes, but there are several job titles a forensic psychologist may have. Some of these professionals deal purely with academia and are forensic psychology writers or authors. Others choose to work as expert witnesses in courtrooms and may be so integrated into the courtroom that judges ask their opinion on treatment recommendations.

Metropolitan areas with higher crime rates will have a much higher demand for the forensic psychologist, resulting in a higher salary. Small towns are not the ideal place for these experts to work.

Notoriety plays a huge role in the credibility and the salary a psychologist can demand. Psychologists that play a vital role in solving a high-profile crime will be able to demand more money due to their first-hand experience and name.

The psychology field is expected to grow by 12% between 2012 and 2022.

Training and certification requirements for forensic psychology

Psychologists have numerous different requirements based on the environment in which they want to work. School psychologists will need an advanced degree and in some cases, a master’s or doctoral degree will be required.

Graduates that have a master’s degree will be able to work as an industrial-organizational psychologist.

Undergraduate degrees in psychology are often not required to progress into a master’s or doctoral program as a psychologist. Psychologists with a bachelor’s degree are seldom able to work in the forensic psychology field due to the high demand for experts.

Those that want to specialize in the forensic psychology field are recommended to obtain a doctoral degree to demonstrate their expertise in the field. License and certification to practice as a psychologist is required in most states.

Requirements may vary, so professionals must consult the Association of State and Provincial Licensing Boards. Continued education is required in several states to maintain a psychologist license.

Psychologists must have keen analytical, communication and observational skills. Patience and understanding are also an asset and will allow a forensic psychologist to excel in the field. Forensic psychology can deal with the analytical nature of helping to solve a crime scene, or it can deal with the rehabilitation of inmates. Psychologists with this specialization are able to choose a specialization subset to work in (i.e. the courts or with the authorities).

The American Board of Professional Psychology offers a certification specialization in forensic psychology. This is recommended for any psychologist who wants to move into the forensic specialization, but this is not a required certification.

International forensic psychologist salaries

Forensic Psychology Salary in the U.K. is £24,250 – £45,000.

Forensic Psychology Salary in Canada is $38,000 – $86,200 CAD.

Forensic Psychology Salary in Australia is AU$25,168 – AU$139,000.

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