Forensic Psychologist

What Does A Forensic Psychologist Do?

Forensic psychologists apply their knowledge of human behavior and thought processes in a variety of legal contexts.  Examples include determining a defendant’s mental competency, helping to develop a suspect’s psychological profile, or assessing a witness’s credibility.

Additional Videos

How Do I Become A Forensic Psychologist?

A doctorate in forensic or clinical psychology is required to do this work. There may be some opportunities to do similar work with a master’s degree, but there will be many more opportunities for those who have a doctorate. A doctorate may take an additional four-five years to earn after first earning a four-year bachelor’s degree, depending on the specific program. Generally, someone must obtain a doctorate to be a “psychologist”.

What is the Average Salary For A Forensic Psychologist?

These are for a Clinical Psychologist:

High – 116,000
Median – 74,000
Low – 40,000

What Courses Should I Take To Become A Forensic Psychologist?

  • Science – As much as possible, including biology and psychology!
  • Math – As much as possible!
  • English – As much as possible!
  • Communication

What Is The Work Environment For A Forensic Psychologist?

Psychologists (in general) work in schools, mental health facilities, clinics, rehab centers, and in private practice.  Forensic psychologists work in more legal or law-related environments. 

What Is The Future Outlook For A Forensic Psychologist?

The job outlook for this position looks good over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist. Opportunities may be best for psychologists who provide therapy.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada

What Degrees Should I Consider If I Want To Be A Forensic Psychologist?