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Criminal Justice Articles

What is the job outlook for Forensic Psychologists?

Anyone considering a degree in forensic psychology will be pleased to learn of the positive outlook this career may hold in the future. Within the legal system, forensic psychologists entering the field may find stable, gratifying, and long-term work opportunities for years to come.

Forensic psychologists may work within the criminal justice system by studying and applying different psychological outlooks to criminal cases, and assist in creating public policies within that system. As specially trained professionals, forensic psychologists may often be assigned to determine whether a defendant is sane and competent to stand trial in a criminal prosecution. A forensic psychologist must be familiar with public policies, laws, and a wide spectrum of legal issues, most should undergo rigorous criminal justice courses during their academic studies. All psychology degree programs may not offer a forensic specialty, but many forensic psychologists are careful to train at one of a small number of academic institutions that specialize in Forensic Psychology degrees.

For the past few years, careers in forensic psychology have experienced consistent growth. This could be attributed to a steady need for psychological expertise within the courts, particularly in areas dealing with juvenile criminals. Finding effective ways of managing a growing number of youth offenders has called for an increase in the number of forensic psychologists. Some forensic psychologists may specialize in other facets of the criminal justice system, such as research, police psychology, witness examination, assisting in the development of public policy, examining how jurors interact, and helping law enforcement officers improve their methods of interrogation.

The demand for forensic psychologists is expected to increase in academic institutions, as this is where many in the field actually conduct career related research. It is expected as research increases and laws continue to change, clinical counseling may increase as a result.

Working as a forensic psychologist may require far greater levels of interaction with other professionals than that of a psychologist working in another discipline. The job often involves constant interaction with attorneys, police officers, judges, court personnel, and criminals. Forensic psychology may be a stressful career, and for those working within prison environments, the stress factor could be even greater. Although forensic psychologists may work very long, hard hours, often with violent criminals, the salary compensation that most receive is relatively low.

Most that enter this field do so because they have a sincere passion for the work. These professionals find it rewarding to work in a field where they believe they are able to make decisions and prompt changes that have a positive impact on society at large. With room for advancement and a constant workload, most find it to be a very challenging career choice overall.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistic, employment of psychologists is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. In considering the increased need for psychologists in all aspects of the criminal justice system, along with the expert projections made about the career's future, forensic psychology could be considered to be a stable career choice.

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