What is Forensic Psychology
History & Jobs of Forensic Psychologists

Interested in Forensic Psychology jobs? Degrees in Forensic Psychology prepare you for a stable, high salary career.

But first, what is forensic psychology?

Forensic psychology, in short, is the relationship between the practice or study of psychology and criminal law.

People who work in this field can be found in prisons, law offices, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and a variety of other similar environments.

The job description of the forensic psychologist is too vast to describe quickly. In essence, the position is capable of attending to the mental health needs of everyone in the justice system, on both sides of the bench.

Criminal behavior begins in the mind, and the forensic psychologist may be the first line of defense against unlawful conduct.

What Is Forensic Psychology: The History

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

hugy munsterberg

The forefather of forensic psychology is J. McKeen Cattell, who first delved into the study of testimony psychology more than a hundred years ago, in 1895.

With his students at Columbia University, Cattell was able to determine that there indeed was interesting psychological effects to putting people on the witness stand in a criminal trial. He began to link the study of the mind with the study of crime, but the true birth of forensic psychology was still a ways off.

As the decades passed, forensic psychology began to grow and evolve within the justice and medicine community, both at home and abroad.

Around the world, doctors were putting in their own two cents about the validity or uses of such a practice. Books were published, psychologists were called to the stand, and eventually the justice system began to take these pioneers to heart.

Today, the practice is still growing and changing, but Cattell’s core belief—that psychology and crime were intrinsically related—has lived on, informing future generations of the nature of justice.

Forensic Psychology Jobs & Careers

So what exactly does the forensic psychologist do? How does he or she aid the justice system in their knowledge of the correlation between crime and psychology? What activities do they take part in?

what is forensic psychology

The list is far too long to print on one page, but here is a small sample:

  • Mediation of divorce or child custody
  • Competency tests for suspects and criminals
  • Jury selection
  • Psychological testing and examinations
  • Providing expert witness testimony in court
  • Selection and assignment of law enforcement personnel
  • Criminal profiling

With your forensic psychology degree in hand, you can expect to take part in a vast number of different activities.

This is not a job for people who enjoy mundane work, or doing the same thing day in and day out.

Rather, this is a job for those who like to spread their focus and take on any number of jobs at once—this is a job for a real go-getter.

Forensic Psychology Salary Expectations

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

The salary range for forensic psychologist jobs is wide. The basic average salary of a newcomer is somewhere between $35,000 and $45,000, but if you decide you’d rather work in the private sector, you can make much more than that.

And after you’ve gained some real experience in the field, you can be easily making upwards of $100,000 per year in your forensic psychology position.

Return from What is Forensic Psychology to Forensic Psychologist

Return from What is Forensic Psychology to Criminology Degree