What does a Forensic Psychologist Do?

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A major in which I look forward to exploring would include forensic psychology. This would make a perfect combination with a degree in psychology and knowledge and/or a degree in criminal justice because SHSU and most colleges do not offer a major in specifically forensic psychology. I am very interested in the human mind and why we do the things we do. Another thing that interests me, even more, is psychopaths, serial killers, and criminals in general, and what causes the aggression in them. Of my knowledge, SHSU does not carry a program or degree or offer criminology as a major. So, therefore, I will have to work with two different studies. I hope to explore more of what causes the tendencies and impulses that murder experience and hopefully one day will be able to get close enough to them to get first-hand information on how their brain works.

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Pysch means mind and ology means the study of. So far, I have taken Psychology 1301 and it has been what I have expected, I’ve enjoyed it. Next semester I will start to get a look into my minor with a class called Intro to Criminal justice. To work in the field of criminal psychology, you must earn a master’s or doctoral degree in clinical psychology, forensic psychology or counseling, which takes about five to seven years to complete. There’s currently no specific forensic psychology degree, which explains why I would have to take the steps I need to. Aspiring forensic psychologists should complete numerous psychology and criminal justice courses while studying as undergraduates since few schools offer degree programs in forensic science. Recommended courses include cognitive, clinical, social, developmental, and criminal investigative psychology. as said on a career profiles website on forensic psychology. This website also includes what they spend the most time doing or would be seen doing. Forensic Psychologists often specialize in research. Some research conducted by forensic psychologists improves interrogation techniques, while other research focuses on public policy and improving criminal rehabilitation and the design of correctional facilities, as the article states.

I could go several different options and paths I could take with these degrees in case I change my mind or it does not work out how expected. The psychology route, or the criminal route. Advancement and job placements, competitiveness, and salaries all go up depending on how much school and the higher the job I am looking for is. For example, I could go for a basic bachelor’s degree and jobs vary from a case manager or an intake officer. With my masters, I could be a therapist in psychology. And if I were to work my way up to a Ph.D. I could qualify to become a clinical psychiatrist which would be able to prescribe people to medications for the illness or disorder I think they are suffering from. The salaries with these careers range from $35,000-$120,000 at best. I would not want to make any less. Taking the criminal route I could choose from options such as Police departments, Government agencies, Prosecutors’ offices, and Law firms. A government agency that is my dream job is in the FBI. To be a forensic psychologist working for cases that the FBI deal with is something I would love to be working for and I will hopefully get there one day.

A job in which a psychology degree would come in handy, regarding the Fbi but is a very competitive job would be a criminal profiler. This job is something most people would think of and refer to shows like criminal minds and NCIS. The characters in criminal minds are criminal profiles but do a lot more than most do, specifically for the show. With that being said, you can conclude that everyone wants a job like this and is very hard to do specifically what they do. As Brenda Scottsdale describes an article about careers in psychology in the FBI, criminal profilers typically used the information from solved crimes and find similarities to give a profile to an offender and match it with a certain person. FBI investigators use these profiles, which contain statements about the probable age, gender, interests, ethnic background, and personality of the perpetrator, to solve the crime. Forensic criminal profilers testify in court about their findings, backing up what they say with relevant research. One of the FBI’s most famous criminal profilers, John E. Douglas, gained fame by interviewing such infamous criminals as David “”Son of Sam”” Berkowitz and Charles Manson, (Scottsdale, Brenda). The salary for a criminal profiler is not published by the FBI, but I would not mind what I made per year if I had the opportunity to work in a position like that especially with cases that involved famous and potentially dangerous serial killers that I could do research on and learn more about.

I would personally love to work with criminals and be able to figure out their minds. It would be much more interesting than being a therapist who deals with mental illness, however, I would enjoy that as well. Jobs such as a detective would be interesting and just a step down from being a criminal profiler. Most of the time criminal psychologists, in a field referred to as criminological psychology, will also work to testify in a court setting and decide if a certain offender is competent to stand in a trial. For example, the offender may try to plead insane and it is the criminal psychologist’s job to determine their sanity during the time of the offense and their current state of mind (Criminal Psychologist Career). Criminal psychologists are often called up as witnesses in court cases to help the jury understand the mind of the criminal. They study thoughts, behavior, and intentions of criminals. A website for a psychology school guide indicated, According to PayScale, the average annual salary for a criminal psychologist is $50,868. However, the pay band extends from a low of $24,000 per year to well above $140,000 annually (July 2017 data), (Criminal Psychologist Career).

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What Does a Forensic Psychologist Do?. (2019, Aug 05). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from

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