Becoming a Criminal Psychologist

Careers in criminal psychology are extremely demanding and they require a strong character. In general, criminal psychologists find jobs in prisons, police departments and FBI. So, if you’re sensitive by nature, then becoming a criminal psychologist is not the best choice for you.

Individuals who have a strong personality and mind may turn their interest in criminal psychology into a prosperous career. Growing area of criminal psychology demands more and more professionals each year. How to become one? Here you can find key steps to becoming a criminal psychologist.

Step 1 Getting a Degree in Criminal Psychology

The job of the criminal psychologist requires a high level of responsibility. Obviously, people working in this field must be well-trained. If you’re planning to become a criminal psychologist, getting a well-rounded education is an essential thing.

A Bachelor’s Degree is a stepping stone in the career path of criminal psychologist. This undergraduate program comprises such subjects as criminology, criminal investigation, social and behavioral psychology. Individuals who receive a Bachelor’s Degree may decide to work toward the Master’s or Doctoral Degree in criminal psychology. There are several schools that offer criminal psychology degree programs. You should consider them if you plan to become a criminal psychologist:

Graduate programs vary greatly depending on the school. Some schools focus on the legal education, while the others prepare students for positions in prisons or FBI. Students are welcome to choose programs according to their preference and goals in life.

Step 2 Gaining Additional Experience

The education you receive must be effective in your future practice. Therefore, students must be initiative and seek out internship opportunities during the college years. The more experience you manage to gain, the better job offers you can expect. To become a professional your must also attend conferences, seminars or other educational events related to this field. This will strengthen your knowledge greatly. It’s recommended that a student planning to become a criminal psychologist joined the American Psychological Association or some other criminology organizations. You can sign up for the newsletters from these organizations. That way you will be always informed of the novelties in the field of criminal psychology.

Step 3 Getting a License

In order to practice criminal psychology you’ll need to get a license from the American Board of Forensic Psychology. License requirements depend on the State you’re going to practice in. If you plan on becoming a criminal psychologist, find out what is requited in you State. There’s no need to go far, simply Google your request. You’ll find all the necessary guidelines on how to become certified in your State.

Step 4 Getting the First Real Job

As you’ve made a solid decision to plunge into the study of criminal minds, it’s time you get the first real job. Becoming a criminal psychologist requires a great deal of practice. It’s important for every student planning to become a criminal psychologist to find an entry-level position to start their career. You should look for the job openings in prisons, police departments and community centers.

You may apply for a position of a criminal profiler with FBI. This highly recognized position is the most wanted among students who’re planning to become criminal psychologists. Prior to applying for this kind of job you should start from less demanding work. You may start working as a police officer and work your way up to the FBI agent. Becoming a criminal psychologist requires a great commitment and responsibility. Career path of a criminal psychologist is a really challenging one. That means you must be emotionally strong to work under a great deal of pressure.