What does it take to become a Criminal Psychologist?
A criminal psychologist is one who works with criminals on a daily and consistent basis. These individuals work in mental institutions, prisons, courtrooms, and anywhere else they're needed. They regularly place themselves in danger, yet continue working because of dedication, loyalty and importance.
The first thing it takes to become a criminal psychologist is the proper educational background. An individual must go through the proper training. Many start by taking psychology classes and finishing their psychology degree from an accredited four-year college or university.
Once the degree is achieved, the student goes to graduate school. In graduate school they focus on coursework relating to criminal psychology and criminal anthropology. Following that they can do a year long fieldwork assignment and take the certification exam for their state. There are a large number of students that also receive their doctorate before working in the field.
It takes much more than a degree and education to work as a criminal psychologist. It requires strong research skills, workers often spend hours pouring through older cases and researching a criminal's background. They will have to compile those results and look for links between the cases.
A professional attitude is vital of criminal psychologists. Often times these individuals are called into court to speak on behalf of the criminal. The defense attorney and prosecutor both use these workers as expert witnesses.
People skills are another attribute associated with those working as criminal psychologists. They must have the ability to switch from one group of people to another quickly and adapt to the new situation. One day they may work with a group of defense lawyers and the next day find them in a mental institution working with criminals.
The ability to handle intense situations is another trait associated with criminal psychologists as they work regularly with criminals, sometimes violent or those accused of a crime. Every day they deal with men and women claiming their innocence and it's sometimes difficult to determine the truth. It's not uncommon for these people to be placed in situations where their very lives are in danger. Those who can handle intense situations and keep their cool are more successful than others.
The life of a criminal psychologist isn't necessarily the easiest one, but it does have its benefits. These individuals are strong, can keep their cool and have a professional attitude. They have strong empathy skills and the ability to adapt to any new situation.
Schools Offering Criminology Courses:
- BS in Criminal Justice - Forensic Psychology
- Graduate Certificate of Completion in 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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