Criminal Psychologist career options
Criminal psychology sounds like an interesting and exciting career, and at times that's true. Criminal psychologists have a rewarding career because they never know exactly what will happen next. Every day typically brings something new, which makes this a good career choice for those will the ability to adapt easily to new situations.
One place where criminal psychologists work is in the prison sector. The prison system is the largest employer of criminal psychologists in both the United States and the United Kingdom. They usually offer counseling services to convicts and work with the prison to find solutions to common and complex problems. For example, the prison may see a rise in gang activity and need help finding a way to end that.
The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and local law enforcement agencies will hire criminal psychologists. On the federal level, criminal psychologists work as agents handling different areas of expertise. They work on cases that cross jurisdictions and cases that involve repeat offenders. Some work as criminal profilers, meaning they determine the look and type of person committing a series of crimes. On the local level, the psychologists work with the police department on major cases, and some even work as police officers.
The health arena is increasingly using criminal psychologists to fill a void. They work with juvenile offenders and underage patients that need help right away. This works on a few different levels. They may work with a hospital to provide counseling services to patients after a trauma such as rape. They're helpful because they get information and answers to questions that the patient might not want to reveal to the police.
They work with criminal offenders brought into the hospital. For example, an individual that commits burglary and is injured will often be seen by a criminal psychologist at some point during their hospital stay. They work for mental institutions where they work with criminal offenders of all ages. They typically have to make a determination regarding the individual's mental health.
Research is another career option for criminal psychologists. These individuals do research into a specific area in the hopes of finding a link or a possible solution to a problem. Criminal psychologists research the prison system, the legal system and the mind of the common criminal. They may work for research institutions associated with colleges and universities.
There are a large number of criminal psychologists currently working in the private sector. These individuals usually work as independent consultants that are called in by lawyers and law enforcement for help in certain situations. They do jury consulting, where they help a lawyer weed out undesirable people and find the right fit for a jury. They work with those arrested, to prepare them for the upcoming trial. Often times they see regular patients on the side, but also work with the legal world when needed.
Schools Offering Criminology Courses:
- BS in Criminal Justice - Forensic Psychology
- Graduate Certificate of Completion in Forensic Psychology
- M.A. Forensic Psychology
- Psy.D. Clinical Forensic Psychology
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice : Forensic Psychology
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- Forensic Psychology (MA)
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