Updated: Mar 4
I have touched on this great topic a number of times on the podcast and in my books, but today I want to do a specific episode on the topic. Therefore, you know what careers are possible in forensic psychology, and we’ll investigate what forensic psychology is NOT. This is a great psychology episode if you want to work in forensic psychology in the future!
This episode has been sponsored by Forensic Psychology Collection. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback and hardback copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it.
Note: none of this is official career nor professional advice.
Forensic Psychology Is Popular:
Over the course of the past few years, forensic psychology has become extremely popular because of the programmes like Bones, CSI and many more. This is great because it shows that psychology can be applied to criminal behaviour and it helps people to understand that forensic psychology is fascinating.
But it is wrong!
As I talk about in my Criminal Profiling book, TV, books and movies never ever represent forensic psychology probably. Because profiling is real but as I say in the book, FBI profiling isn’t worth the paper it is written on and “real” forensic psychologists don’t do profiling.
Because psychology is a science, profiling is far from it!
Therefore, when it comes to choosing a possible career in forensic psychology, you need to remember that is NOT profiling and there are plenty of scientific and fascinating areas to choose them.
What Are Forensic Psychology Careers?
Now we’ll start to look at some of the career paths you have access to in forensic and criminal psychology. As well as most of the information on this area is US-centric, I will try to write this as broadly as possible so this is suitable for people in other western nations, and most probably eastern nations too.
From everything I have seen in forensic psychology, this is where the majority of the jobs are. Due to most forensic psychologists work in prisons and jails doing a wide range of tasks. For example, assessing offenders or working on the rehabilitation side.
Both of very broad areas because you could asset the level of violence, sexual deviance, psychopathy or more in an offender. These assessments are critical considering these ideally allow offenders to be assigned to the most appropriate prison, treatment programmes amongst other places.
Therefore, I do talk more about the scales and measurement tools used for sex offenders, violent offenders and other types of tools in Forensic Psychology. So if you’re interested in that area, definitely check it out.
On the other hand, you could work in rehabilitation where you work with them to teach them coping mechanisms, skills and other needed behavioural techniques so they don’t reoffend. As research shows that rehabilitation with sex offenders and other types of criminals does work, so if you want to have a direct impact on improving an offender’s life. Then this might be something for you to consider.
My Thoughts On Those Forensic Psychology Careers:
Personally, as you know I do love forensic psychology, and both of these options do tempt me. Working in the assessments I think would be fascinating because you actually get to interact with different offenders and have to almost decide their fate. That would be scary, interesting and exciting.
Especially, (and yes I am taking this example from TV) if you had to assess a serial killer.
In terms of rehabilitation, this career idea I do love. Since rehabilitation does work for the vast majority of offenders so if I can help them, help make society a safer place and improve lives. Then that’s very tempting.
My only concern (that really annoys me) is because the general public doesn’t believe in rehabilitation. Politicians capitalise on that and focus on longer prison sentences (that don’t tend to work) instead of rehabilitation that would actually make society safer. Meaning there is a lack of funding in this career option so I think I could be massively disappointed by the reality.
Courts and Forensic Psychologists:
This is an example of a range of careers that are extremely hit and miss when it comes to TV representation, because as a forensic psychologist you could work in the legal system to some extent. As courts allow you to become expert witnesses, evaluate offenders, comment on mental health and criminal behaviour and more, as well as private practice.
Of course, you need to be well-reputed before any of this happens because it is a great place to work towards. Since as an expert witness you could testify on memory, thinking, mental health and almost anything you are qualified in to talk about (more or less).
Again I think this would be amazing and I would love to walk into a courtroom, sit in the dock and testify on a gripping case. Of course most of them aren’t gripping and expert witnesses in the grand scheme of things are rarely needed, but it is still fun to think about.
What Are Forensic Psychology Careers? Conclusion:
I know I grouped the three main jobs of forensic psychologists into very broad groups and all of those three could be divided and broken down into many more. However, the entire point of this psychology podcast episode was to shine a light on the real forensic psychology career paths that you could take.
Forensic psychology is an amazing area of psychology that I love and will continue to explore over time. And if you’re interested in this area and want to learn more, definitely check out my books on the topic here.
But at the end of the day, when it comes to what you what to do with your career, you need to do what is best for you!
So have fun, keep learning about career paths and enjoy the journey too. That is very important.
I really hope you enjoyed today’s episode.
If you want to learn more, please check out:
Forensic Psychology Collection. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback and hardback copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it.
Have a great day!
Forensic Psychology Careers Reference:
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