Forensic Psychologist Salary
Forensic Psychologists in the United States pull down an average of $61K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Forensic Psychologists largely appreciate their work and find this position highly satisfactory. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Most Forensic Psychologists survey respondents are women (76 percent). The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Forensic Psychologist
Forensic psychologists are often licensed psychologists that have chosen to specialize in the forensic concentration. They often have a doctorate in counseling or forensic psychology. Forensic psychologists work in varied environments, which many include courts, prisons, mental hospitals, private facilities, and government agencies. Working mostly in an office, the job is more mental than physical.Read More...
They may evaluate mental competency for criminals during trials, diagnose mental conditions and disorders, study crimes to try and establish a profile of the criminal, make recommendations for sentence lengths after a person is found guilty, and establish whether or not a person needs to be committed to a mental institution or hospital. Forensic psychologists interview patients, evaluating information about their background, childhood, motivations, and actions. They may diagnose any applicable mental health issues. They do a lot of writing and take notes during evaluations and may compile an official report for court trials.
Oftentimes, they work with other psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, lawyers, paralegals, and private patients. If particularly popular as a consultant, they often have an assistant do their scheduling. They may travel a lot if they act as consultants, or they may work solely in their local community. Depending on which part of the industry they work in, they may work typical office hours, or they may be on-call for emergencies 24/7.
Forensic Psychologist Tasks
- Assist in jury selection and case strategy.
- Provide treatment recommendations.
- Provide services that are both clinical and forensic related.
- Provide expert opinion, testimony and briefs on the psychology of defendants.
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Pay by Experience Level for Forensic Psychologist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Forensic Psychologists. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $60K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $72K on average. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $80K. Professionals who achieve more than 20 years of experience generally enjoy cushy salaries; their median compensation sits in the ballpark of $113K, a plump six-figure sum.
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