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Forensic Psychologist Salary (United States)

Forensic Psychologists in the United States can expect wages of $61K per year on average. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women account for the majority of Forensic Psychologists who responded to the questionnaire — 64 percent to be exact. A large number enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to roughly one-half. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Forensic Psychologist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$35,718 - $100,037
(Median)
36K
48K
61K
81K
100K
MEDIAN: $60,631
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Forensic Psychologist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$15.30 - $146.81
(Median)
15
42
82
150
MEDIAN: $42.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$35,718 - $100,037  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,339  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$36,842 - $122,206  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 205
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$15.30 - $146.81  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $21.36  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,339  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$36,842 - $122,206  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 42
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Job Description for Forensic Psychologist

Forensic Psychology is a professional career that is a specialty focus of the broader Psychology field. Forensic Psychologists are responsible for the evaluation and assessment of adults and children involved in legal cases, including mental health testing, chemical dependency evaluations, collateral contact interviews, and the administration and interpretation of personality tests. This may include determinations of psychological stability and/or diagnosis of mental illness as it relates to court proceedings, including the determination of an individual's ability to stand trial. A Forensic Psychologist may also be involved in assisting with jury selection and may assist with court case strategy. They also provide expert opinions, testimony, and briefs regarding the psychology of defendants. Forensic Psychologists provide services that are both clinical and forensic-related, and may provide treatment recommendations for those undergoing evaluation. Some Forensic Psychologists work with police or sheriffs' departments, providing mental health evaluations or advocacy in the field as needed. Others work primarily in the courthouse, providing professional, expert testimony to relevant court cases. Other responsibilities may include interviewing individuals related to court cases, gathering information about the mental health or psychological history of individuals, special projects or assignments such as department committees, legal consultations, community outreach, professional education, special research projects, and oversight and training of graduate students or interns. Forensic Psychologists work primarily independently or with the oversight of a superior Forensic Psychologist. A Forensic Psychologist usually has an advanced degree in psychology, either at a Master or Doctorate level. Specialized education is also required, frequently in the Criminal Justice field.
Forensic Psychologist Tasks
  • Provide services that are both clinical and forensic related.
  • Provide expert opinion, testimony and briefs on the psychology of defendants.
  • Assist in jury selection and case strategy.
  • Provide treatment recommendations.

Forensic Psychologist Job Listings

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Forensic Psychologists who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 28 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Forensic Psychologist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Forensic Psychologists with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. The average inexperienced worker earns $56K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $76K. Forensic Psychologists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $84K. Veteran professionals who boast more than 20 years of relevant experience enjoy plum median salaries that average out to the six-figure sum of $117K.

Pay Difference By Location

Atlanta
up arrow 42%
National Average
$63,000
Los Angeles
up arrow 2%
New York
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Atlanta offers some of the highest pay in the country for Forensic Psychologists, 42 percent above the national average. Falling short of the national average by 15 percent, the area with the worst salaries is New York.

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Experience Affects Forensic Psychologist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 88%
Experienced
up arrow 34%
Mid-Career
up arrow 22%
National Average
$63,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 10%

Skills That Affect Forensic Psychologist Salaries

Clinical Psychology
up arrow 28%
National Average
$63,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 37 votes.

Gender

Female
64%
female alumni
 
Male
36%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 82% dental benefits Dental: 63%
vision benefits Vision: 48% employee benefits None: 16%