Forensic Psychology & Criminal Psychology Salaries
It’s difficult to click through television stations without seeing a myriad of shows about criminal investigation, but have they ever made you think about what they make on a Forensic Psychology salary or Criminal Psychology salary? Whether television shows such as CSI and Law & Order have caused an increase in interest in criminal and forensic psychology, or the other way around, it is impossible to debate that these two fields of psychology are increasing in popularity.
More people are seeking criminal psychology degrees or forensic psychology degrees. Luckily, more and more criminal and forensic psychologists are needed as jails and prisons are filled to capacity. There is a lot of work for those wishing to pursue one of these psychological subfields.
While criminal and forensic psychology are very similar and have a great deal of overlap in their education and work, they are not the same. Criminal psychologists study people who commit crimes and why they do so. Criminal psychologists help law enforcement personnel solve crimes and work with the court systems as expert witnesses. Forensic psychologists are more focused on the intersection of psychology and the law.
Forensic psychologists are more likely to be found providing services to those that are already within the legal system, be they criminals or family members. They also work closely with police officers, court officers and lawyers within the courts.
Forensic Psychology Salary
Forensic psychology salaries range greatly depending on a number of factors. The median salary of a forensic psychologist is estimated at $62,000 per year. The top salaries can be well over $100,000 while the low end of forensic psychologist salaries can be as low as $35,000. A great many factors can affect the salary of a forensic psychologist. These factors include education level, location, employer, and most importantly, years of experience in the field.
Criminal Psychology Salary
Criminal psychology salaries vary similarly to forensic psychology salaries. Although salaries vary depending on job location and experience, it is estimated that forensic psychologists make an average of about $90,000 per year with a salary range between $33,000 to over $100,000. Experienced criminal psychologists working for state and local governments tend to have salaries in the higher range, while less experienced criminal psychologists who work for non-profit organizations tend to earn at the lower end of this range.
Forensic & Criminal Psychology Education
While some forensic and criminal psychologists can find jobs within their field with a master’s degree, most forensic and criminal psychologists earn doctorate degrees (PhD or PsyD) to be the most competitive in the field and earn higher salaries. While earning a doctoral degree takes approximately four years (two years more than a master’s degree), the increase in forensic psychology salary for these positions appear to make the additional time, money and education worth it.