Creating a More Just and Merciful World
Career Options for Those with an MA in Forensic Psychology
The demand for psychologists will be strong in the years ahead, with employment in the field expected to grow 14 percent by 2026—double the projected growth for other occupations. For those with an MA in forensic psychology, strong job growth will be coupled with a variety of career options.
The American Board of Forensic Psychology defines the field as “the application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relative to law and the legal system.” Forensic psychologists work in various sectors of the legal system, including in corrections facilities, within police departments or in private practice as a consultant.
Forensic psychology has grown in prominence in recent years, as movies and television shows, such as CSI, have shown professionals working in the field. While the reality of the various forensic psychology jobs may not quite approach the excitement of those dramatic depictions, the forensic psychology career options available to those with an advanced degree offer many ways to make unique yet important contributions.
Here are some of the careers forensic psychologists can consider:
Correctional counselor. Correctional counselors work with inmates and those released from prison to move beyond their crimes and find success re-entering society. They may also conduct psychological evaluations on inmates to gain insights into their mental health and well-being.
Police consultant. There are multiple ways forensic psychologists can work with law enforcement agencies. One of these roles is as a police consultant who helps police officers and detectives gain an understanding of how criminals think, so they can be apprehended. These consultants also may provide services to police departments including facilitating suicide prevention training, leading anger management courses and educating police on how to handle specific situations, such as situations involving those with mental illness.
Jury consultant. These consultants work with attorneys to help select jury members and evaluate witness testimony. They also may observe juries to provide attorneys with insights regarding jury body language and behavior.
Forensic social worker. One interesting career option is to combine forensic psychology with another field: social work. Forensic social workers act as liaisons between law enforcement, the court system and those directly involved in crimes. They may be charged with recommending the right therapy or protection for defendants or informants, evaluating the mental state of a defendant or be called to testify as an expert witness.
Probation officer. Probation officers help guide and supervise individuals who are either on parole or who were recently released from the prison system. They also might be involved in decisions about when inmates will be released from incarceration.
In addition to these options, those with a master’s degree in forensic psychology can also opt to pursue a doctorate degree and focus their career on conducting forensic research. Indeed, when it comes to forensic psychology, there is no shortage of career choices.
Set your career aspirations in motion through Carlow University in Pittsburgh’s Master of Arts degree in Psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology. This program will help you learn to use the tools of psychology in a wide variety of criminal and civil legal applications. You will also develop advanced research and clinical skills to prepare to start your career or to pursue future doctoral studies in psychology.