Forensic Psychologist Salary

Forensic Psychologists in the United States take home an average $61K annually. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the larger part earn dental coverage. More than half of Forensic Psychologists (65 percent) survey participants are women. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$36,193 - $100,079
(Median)
$36K
$61K
$100K
MEDIAN: $60,636
10%
50%
90%

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$15.00 - $128.01
(Median)
$15
$41
$130
MEDIAN: $40
10%
50%
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
$36,193 - $100,079  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,000  
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).
)
$38,443 - $122,744  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 212
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
$15.00 - $128.01  
   
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 - $14,000  
   
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).
)
$38,443 - $122,744  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 39

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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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Just a handful of professional skills are reported by Forensic Psychologists who took the survey. Most notably, facility with Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Aptitude in Clinical Psychology tends to also indicate an understanding of Forensic Psychology.

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. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $57K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $72K. Forensic Psychologists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $85K. Professionals who achieve more than 20 years of experience generally enjoy cushy salaries; their median compensation sits in the ballpark of $120K, a plump six-figure sum.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Forensic Psychologist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 93%

Experienced
up arrow 37%

Mid-Career
up arrow 15%

National Average
$62,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 8%

Skills That Affect Forensic Psychologist Salaries

Clinical Psychology
up arrow 30%


National Average
$62,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 33 votes.

Gender

Female
65 %
Male
35 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
47%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 81% dental benefits Dental: 61%
vision benefits Vision: 45% employee benefits None: 17%