Forensic Psychologist at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Forensic Psychologist

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Forensic Psychologist

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Forensic Psychologist

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Maryland 570 $107,180 $52
District of Columbia 190 $85,830 $41
Hawaii 120 $86,370 $42


Becoming a Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists typically hold a doctorate in applied or clinical psychology. There are a small number of highly selective doctoral and postdoctoral specialization programs in forensic psychology. Some schools offer dual master's degree programs in psychology and law, but employment in the field of forensic psychology generally requires a doctorate. That said, social workers and licensed counselors with master's degrees can train to work in some capacities of a forensic mental health professional.

Psychology degree programs with a concentration on forensic psychology will require a clinical externship in a forensic facility. Graduates typically continue their education with post-doctoral fellowships and forensic internships. A sampling of classes you may take in a doctoral program in forensic psychology, drawn from course listings for Fordham University's Ph.D. in clinical psychology program with a forensic specialization, includes the following:

  • Psychology and Criminal Law
  • Psychology and Civil War
  • Trauma and Family Violence
  • Forensic Assessment

In most states, practicing psychologists must be state-licensed or certified. After completing a period of supervised forensic work, psychologists can apply for certification as a forensic psychologist from the American Board of Forensic Psychology. Requirements for certification include providing work samples and completing an examination.